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Patna Diary

Extended office at bigger CM house

The house adjoining 1 Aney Marg, the official residence of the Bihar chief minister, is comparatively smaller but had close links with its neighbour. The bungalow, 1B Aney Marg, had been the residence of late Congress leader and former Speaker Radhanandan Jha. Despite being a Congressman, Jha was one of the most trusted advisors during the Lalu-Rabri regime and was known as “Raj Guru”. A gate was made in the boundary of the two bungalows to enable Lalu and Jha to walk across and have discussions with each other. At the time of the marriage of Lalu’s second daughter, the boundary wall was brought down so that a pandal could be put up to adjust the guests on the premises of 1B. n the Nitish Kumar government, the adjoining bungalow had been allotted to principal secretary R.C.P. Singh, who quit the house after becoming a Rajya Sabha MP. Now the wall between the two bungalows has permanently been brought down, 1B Aney Marg will become a part of the chief minister’s residence, which will house the offices of the chief minister’s secretaries and function like his mini secretariat. /B>

Back to you, Mr Kushwaha!

Dissident JD (U) MP Upendra Kumar Kushwaha was among a few leaders who demanded that political leaders be made to declare their movable and immovable assets. However, his demand seems to have boomeranged. A section of JD (U) leaders have demanded a probe into the rapid increase of the MP’s assets in the past few years, which they claim has increased by 369 per cent. The JD (U) leaders pointed out in 2005, when the MP contested the Assembly elections, his declared assets was just Rs 46 lakh. But in 2010, his assets had jumped to Rs 2.92 crore. The other JD (U) leaders, belonging to the Kushwaha caste, have demanded the income tax department to seek an explanation from the dissident MP.

Selfish requests

State BJP president Dr C.P. Thakur received an unusual request from a woman at the BJP office when he was holding a trial janata darbar for BJP workers aspiring to go to the chief minister’s janata darbar for NDA workers. The woman claimed she had worked for the BJP for years. “Make me a member of the state women’s commission,” she said. That was not all. While some BJP workers demanded the transfer of block-level officials, some government employees demanded a transfer to their home districts. “Most of the demands made by the party workers had nothing to do with the people,” said a senior BJP leader.

Murder politics

Even before the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) can formally take over the BJP MLA murder case, politics on the issue has started. The Left parties are demanding the removal of deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi and the women’s wing is demanding freedom of the assailant Rupam Pathak. Former chief minister Jagannath Mishra was quick to point out that the CBI had failed to solve the murder of his brother, late L.N. Mishra. Former BJP national president Rajnath Singh has also questioned the impartiality of the central investigating agency and alleged the Congress was using it as a tool for fixing its political agenda. “You have to sympathise with these guys (CBI). They come under tremendous pressure whenever they take up a case,” said a senior police officer.
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