Nitish defends yatra, Opp. taunts

Chief minister Nitish Kumar addresses a public meeting at Dumraon in Buxar district on Friday. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary

Patna: Chief minister Nitish Kumar declared on Friday that he did not believe in ruling from Patna.

“I want to go among the people of the state to review development work and apprise myself of the problems faced by the people,” Nitish told a public meeting at Nandan Panchayat in Buxar village on Friday during the fourth phase of his Samiksha Yatra (development review tour).

He was responding to criticism of his yatra by the RJD.

Attacking the chief minister when his yatra was rescheduled because of Prakash Utsav in December, leader of the Opposition Tejashwi Prasad had said: “He is a chief minister of the people but prefers to be chief minister of officials and goes to villages dictated by officials.”

Nitish also reasserted his commitment to give basic amenities to all villages in the state in the next four years. “The people of Bihar have given me an opportunity to serve them and not rule them,” he said at the public meeting.

The chief minister said those opposing his yatra had a democratic right to oppose. “But I will not get diverted from my basic objectives,” he said, stressing that misconceptions among those who are opposing and mocking his yatra will be removed soon.

Nitish inaugurated and laid foundations of projects worth Rs 168 crore in Nandan village and interacted with residents there. He distributed student credit cards and released a book.

Chief minister Nitish Kumar with the people in Dumraon on Friday. Picture by Sanjay Choudhary

The chief minister pointed out during his public meeting that he was going to only those villages which he had visited during 2009, so as to see what change or development work has taken place since.

He spoke at a length on his seven resolves and said the chief secretary was reviewing work done under seven resolves in all the districts.

Nitish stressed on women’s empowerment and pointed out that he had given 50 per cent quota to women in civic bodies and appointment of teachers. He also reasserted his commitment to open technical institutes in all districts and said funds for the same had been arranged.

The chief minister also pointed out that when he came to power in 2005 foodgrain procurement from farmers was almost negligible.

He said that now, till date, 2,30,000 metric tonnes of foodgrain had been purchased from farmers.

He also defended his decision to ban liquor and insisted that it had brought happiness to households across the state. He once again asserted that he would not make any compromise on prohibition.

The chief minister appealed to the people to inform the authorities concerned about any illegal liquor trade taking place in their area.

The chief minister also spoke on his ongoing campaign against child marriage and dowry and stressed that both these social evils must be eradicated. He appealed to the people to participate in the human chain being planned across districts against the twin social issues on January 21.

Several ministers, legislators and officials were present on the occasion.

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