Rebels list ready, verdict awaited
After the spectacular victory in the Assembly polls, the JD (U) is in no mood to forgive and forget the “betrayal” by some of its dissident MPs. This despite the fact that many of these MPs proclaimed their loyalty to Nitish Kumar soon after the results was declared. Newly appointed JD (U) state party chief Vashistha Narayan Singh has cleared that no leniency would be shown towards the rebels. He has announced that a disciplinary committee would be set up which would take the opinion of all Assembly poll candidates into consideration and recommend action against the rebels. The list of rebels includes Upendra Kushwaha, Monazir Hassan, Sushil Singh, Mahabali Singh and Lallan Singh. “While relatives of the first three MPs contested the Assembly polls on RJD tickets and they never issued public statements against it, Lallan went on to campaign for Congress candidates,” said a JD (U) leader, indicating that Lallan would be the “first target” of the party. Senior JD (U) leaders may move for his disqualification in Parliament, he added.
Several of the newly elected MLAs claim that they are computer friendly. “I have learnt how to surf Internet on my mobile and I regularly check my e-mails,” said Jitendra Kumar, MLA from Asthawan. There are over 120 first-time MLAs in this House. In the last Assembly, all the MLAs were given a laptop. “It’s a matter of debate as to how many of them actually used the machine to learn about their constituency and how many of them gave it to their family members to play games, surf net and watch movies,” said an official of the Assembly secretariat, stressing that 120-odd laptop would have to be procured for the new legislators. The laptops have to be returned by the MLAs if they lose their seat or else the money is deducted from their pension.
Ever since Nitish Kumar has returned to power, speculations of a mass transfer are rife in the corridors of power. At least four senior IAS officers have returned from their central deputation and are presently awaiting posting. There are strong indications that a few senior officers may get central deputation while a few others may get key posts. A senior IAS officer, in fact, is hopeful of getting a JD (U) ticket in the next Lok Sabha polls. “The atmosphere is confusing and the wait is agonising. Nobody knows how long he or she will stay on a post,” said a senior IAS officer. The pending transfer exercise appears to have made several senior officials weary. “This is a ritual we have to undergo every year or two,” said another official. Then there is the state planning board, known to be the cold storage for senior bureaucrats who are not in the right side of powers that be. There are bets on who those IAS officials would be.
Ministry dreams via media
In all 30 state ministers being sworn-in but several BJP MLAs are still hopeful of making it to the cabinet. A meeting of city BJP leaders strongly advocated the inclusion of Kumhrar MLA Arun Sinha into the ministry. However, there is a BJP MLA in south Bihar who wants to put forward his name discretely. The MLA is requesting his friends in the media to suggest his name for a ministry. However, the MLA is not willing to be quoted on the issue. He is suggesting that mediapersons lobby for him by indicating that there is a growing demand in the party for his inclusion in the cabinet. So far, nobody has obliged him.