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CM unveils Siwan bridge to bind people

Siwan, Jan. 12: Chief minister Nitish Kumar today inaugurated an overbridge near Siwan Junction station, ending the travails of the commuters waiting for hours to cross the tracks.

“We do not build bridges just to facilitate connectivity. We build bridges to bring the people together and to inculcate a sense of unity among them,” Nitish said on the second day of his Seva Yatra here, explaining his concept of bridges to a huge crowd.

The newly built 7.5-m-wide and 1751-m-long overbridge is near Pratap Pur, the home of the incarcerated Siwan don Md Shahabuddin. Built spending Rs 65.37 crore, it would benefit most the Pratap Pur citizens needing to come to Siwan (their nearest bazaar).

The chief minister refrained from making reference of Shahabuddin, still a senior leader of the rival RJD. But in his discerningly subtle way, he explained how he liberated Siwan from the “reign of terror” unleashed on the region for over a decade before his (Nitish’s) arrival in the state’s scene.

“Siwan stands liberated from the reign of terror. The people now are moving freely and fearlessly on its streets. Siwan has changed. So has Bihar. There is a rule of law prevailing now,” the chief minister said, apparently referring to his government’s efforts to tighten the noose around the gang lords ruling the roost during the regime he succeeded.

Nitish’s address drew people’s thunderous applause, which might have sounded as “ruckus” to the ears of Shahabuddin, undergoing life term in a jail barely a kilometre away from the place the chief ministers was delivering his speech. Public relations minister Brishen Patel, the JD(U)’s official nominee in Siwan Lok Sabha seat, finished third in 2009, was there with Nitish at the Seva Yatra in Siwan.

Nitish, known for using the nuances delicately, made it clear that he wanted the support of Siwan people, which he failed to get during the last polls. “I ended the reign of terror in Siwan with your support. I will end the scourge of corruption too if you keep on supporting us.”

His message and the inherent content in it were loud and clear: Nitish wanted to get rewarded politically for the work he had done in Siwan.

Earlier, Nitish organised a janata darbar and listened to the complaints of the people. The grievances were mostly against the health, education and energy departments. He referred the cases to the officials and minis- ters concerned, accompanying him.