Hazaribagh, Jan. 2: External affairs minister Yashwant Sinha today figured on the “good boys’ list” of deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani for leaders of Jharkhand, a month-and-a-half after the BJP leader gave a “clean chit” to chief minister Babulal Marandi as a gift on the second Statehood Day.
Addressing a public meeting during his whirlwind tour of Sinha’s parliamentary constituency Hazaribagh, Advani today showered praise on the foreign minister and Marandi for carrying out development work in the state in a “planned” manner.
Advani, also the country’s home minister, said Jharkhand was feeling the punch of extremism due to the growing influence of Maoists in Nepal. He said the rebels were entering Jharkhand through Bihar and Uttar Pradesh to disturb development work and tranquillity in the state.
Advani said five states — Jharkhand, Bihar, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Orissa — were facing the problem of Left-wing extremism and the “coordination committee” headed by Union home secretary N. Gopalaswamy would submit a report “very soon” on how to tackle the menace.
Sinha, who, during his stint as finance minister, was criticised for being a “foreigner” MP, is on his longest-ever ever halt at Hazaribagh during a time when there are no polls around the corner. He denied that he was on an “electioneering rehearsal” visit to Hazaribagh and maintained that the slew of development schemes announced for the region would benefit the people.
Advani inaugurated online 12 development projects worth about Rs 100 crore. These include a Rs 30-crore aid to the unemployed and disabled under the Prime Minister’s Rozgar Yojana, distribution of Kisan Credit Cards, distribution of cycles among poor girl students, Rs 10-crore project for a Sports Authority of India subcentre, Rs 9.67 crore for construction of a shopping complex, community centres and drainage in the town, Rs 10 crore for the supply of drinking water and an inter-state bus terminus.
Besides, Rs 1.37 crore was given for the construction of public toilets, Rs 3.97 crore for the improvement of roads in Hazaribagh, Rs 4.02 crore for the construction of an Ambedkar housing colony, Rs 4.74 crore for the Rajrappa tourism development programme, Rs 36 lakh for Nirmal Bharati Abhiyan (a project of Hudco) and Rs 4.50 crore for different development projects for the beautification of the town and development of Keredari as a model village.
Advani blamed the previous governments at the Centre for not solving the Kashmir crisis and said they missed two opportunities in 1947 and 1971. He said Pervez Musharraf did not reciprocate the efforts made by Prime Minister A.B. Vajpayee.