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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Patna Diary

Reformation in single sitting

Praveen Amanullah is not the only minister to come across with legislators pleading the cases of government officials on whom they level charges inside the House. A JD(U) MLA recently met education minister P.K. Shahi and asked him to withdraw the action taken against a particular officer. hen Shahi pointed out that the action against the officer was initiated because the MLA had made charges of financial irregularities against him, the legislator said: “The officer has reformed after he met me. He has become honest.” Shahi said there were several other dishonest officials in his department. “Perhaps you should meet all of them and reform them. You would be doing a great service to my department by doing so,” Shahi said. An elderly politician wondered how politicians transform dishonest persons honest in a single meeting. “The officer charged with irregularities comes out a reformed man and the politician ends up wealthier,” he said.

Big man in mall car nimal and fish resources minister Giriraj Singh is probably the most physically fit minister in the state. As he is over six feet and well built, his acquaintances were amused when he acquired a brand new Nano. One of them actually asked him if he could fit in the small car. The minister stressed that he could get into the car comfortably. “The company manufacturing this car should feature Giriraj Singh in an advertisement to prove that big men can sit in that small car,” one of his acquaintance said. Few others pointed out that Giriraj was perhaps the only minister to buy a small car. “Most ministers not only purchase expensive sports utility vehicles (SUVs) themselves but also ensure that their department has a fleet of expensive SUVs for their official use,” said an official.

Perception of leanliness

A nauseating stench distracted the attention of district magistrate (DM) Sanjay Kumar Singh while he was holding janata durbar last week. He spotted a heap of garbage near his office. When he called the employee concerned about the odour he had to tolerate, the latter happily said that he had sprayed room freshener. The DM lost his cool and said he wanted the garbage removed and did not want another round of room freshener sprayed. “But that is the perception of the employees about cleanliness and hygiene — use room fresheners instead of cleaning up the mess,” said a district official.

Venue change relief

T he shift of the venue of Udyami Mela from Rajgir to 1 Aney Marg on Monday brought relief to several traders and industrialists. “Had it been in Rajgir, we would have to wake up early and drive a long distance in biting cold conditions,” said an office-bearer of a business association. Another businessman pointed out that though the chief minister had cancelled his visit to Rajgir to mourn the death of the victim of the gang rape in Delhi, he too must be happy over the change in the venue of Udyami Mela. “It is difficult to be in Rajgir in winter,” he said.