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Patna Diary

Intimacy with Giriraj risky for Dal leaders

Most of the JD(U) leaders and ministers try to maintain a safe distance with animal and fish resources minister Giriraj Singh. A couple of Dal ministers and a few party leaders started walking the other way at a wedding reception recently when they saw Giriraj coming up to them.

"When Giriraji suddenly appears in front of us, we are always jovial and cordial. But being seen with him too frequently is politically dangerous,” said a JD(U) leader, who “avoided” the minister at the marriage reception. It is not that Giriraj is discourteous. The problem is that he has never hidden his fondness for Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi. “He has even taunted chief minister Nitish Kumar in public. Nitish is naturally annoyed. If we are seen too frequently with Giriraj, it may be reported to 1 Aney Marg,” said the Dal leader.

Change in Nitish

Police officers have of late detected a transformation in the attitude of chief minister Nitish Kumar towards indiscipline and inefficiency. “During the NDA-I, the chief minister appeared to have zero tolerance. He removed top officers - former director-general of police (DGP) Ashish Ranjan Sinha and present DGP Abhyayanand - for indiscipline from the police headquarters. Police officers right from the inspector-general-rank down to the local officer-in-charge were given marching orders after a lady was publicly stripped in the Exhibition Road area. During the NDA-II regime, the police goofed up big time in Khagaria during a rally of chief minister earlier this year and he had to rely on the local MLA for security. But the superintendent of police has not been shunted till date,” said a senior IPS officer, wondering if Nitish had become more tolerant.

Land grab

A member of the minority community in Raja Bazaar was shocked when another person staked claim to a part of his land. “The police investigation proved that the person had no right on my land. But at the district administration office the decision was given in favour of that person,” the member f the minority community said, pointing out that all the notices ere served on that erson and no notice was served to him seeking clarification or document. “Incidentally, grabbing land belonging to the minority community members by a particular caste has been going on since the previous regime. It is continuing in the present regime. Only the caste has changed,” he said.

Arrogant slur on Shahi

Education minister P.K. Shahi appears to be becoming unpopular among a section of the JD(U) leaders and workers. They complain that Shahi is arrogant and never listens to them. “We want to shout slogans in favour of dissident JD(U) MP Lallan Singh in front of Sahi,” one of them said. Once very close to chief minister Nitish Kumar, Lallan has been out in the cold ever since the last Assembly polls when he campaigned for the Congress candidates. The political speculation that Lallan would be back in Nitish’s good book unnerves Shahi supporters, claimed a Dal leader. “Shahiji is not arrogant. One has to understand that he has the training of a lawyer and not of a politician. He cannot make false promises,” said a supporter of the education minister.