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Hiccups in House party

Ranchi, Nov. 22: The Jharkhand Assembly today celebrated its seventh foundation day in the absence of nearly half a dozen ministers and a token presence of about 130-odd sitting MLAs.

The “king-sized” pandals erected to accommodate the guests were packed with supporters of MLAs and associates of the Assembly employees.

The main function began over half an hour behind schedule — amid “silly mistakes” by an over-excited announcer — which at times amounted to violation of protocol.

But, every important dignitary present there stressed the need for collective responsibility and bridging communication gaps at every level for efficiently shouldering responsibilities.

Chief minister Madhu Koda and leader of Opposition Arjun Munda may be bitter foes on the political front, but both of them firmly held that good governance involves well-co-ordinated teamwork and collective responsibility.

Governor Syed Sibtey Razi, too, approved of the idea, even as Naxalism and neglect of development remained the main theme of the speeches by political heavyweights during the Assembly’s foundation day celebrations.

While Koda argued that both elected representatives and “selected” bureaucrats shared equal responsibilities in a democratic setup, Munda urged that politicians stop taking the help of “unwarranted elements” for political gain so that they can avoid a repetition of the Chilkhari massacre.

Deputy chief ministers Stephen Marandi and Sudhir Mahto, too, stressed on reviving the old glory of Jharkhand by saying no to the use of unfair means.

The chief minister emphasised on motivating hardworking officials at every level through felicitations, adding that his government had felicitated upright officials in blocks and districts on the eve of the state’s Foundation Day.

He thanked the Assembly Speaker for extending the best bureaucrat award to IPS officials as well.

The governor endorsed both Koda and Munda’s statements and added that communication gap at every level ought to be bridged. He advised MLAs to first discuss among themselves what factors were weakening the democracy.

The best legislator of the year, P.N. Singh, donated his reward amount to the victims of Chilkhari carnage and the best police officer, director-general of police V.D. Ram, donated his reward money to the police welfare fund.

Another best bureaucrat of the year, the state’s revenue board member, A.K. Singh, however, is yet to decide what he would be doing with his reward money.

P.N. Singh dedicated the award to his parents, gurus and the voters of the Dhanbad Assembly constituency.

A.K. Singh dedicated his to colleagues of the rural development department where he worked till recently and his parents while V.D. Ram dedicated his award to his wife, children and late mother.

The three Assembly officials who were awarded for distinctive services included deputy secretary Madhukar Bharadwaj, under secretary Sanjit Kumar and marshal Samshul Hasan.

Bharadwaj’s father Mohan Bharadwaj also got the best book of year award in Bihar from the governor today. P.N. Singh said that being the son of a primary school teacher, he never dreamt of becoming an MLA.

He attributed the success of securing the highest number of votes in the state during the last Assembly elections on his decision of never promoting criminals.

A.K. Singh, who has seen several ups and downs in his career, said that Mahatma Gandhi was his role model and he always overcame the hurdles by following the path shown by Gandhi.

V.D. Ram said that this award would boost the morale of police officials and that his second inning as the state’s police chief was the biggest challenge of his life.

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