| Director-general of police Abhayanand accepts applications from complainants at the chief minister’s janata durbar in Patna on Monday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
Patna, Feb. 4: The absence of chief minister Nitish Kumar from his weekly janata durbar on Monday left complainants dissatisfied and the session was over in only two-and-a-half hours.
Monday was the first time that the durbar was held in spite of Nitish’s illness. The complainants had come from far-off places to meet the chief minister. Director-general of police (DGP) Abhayanand, principal secretary, revenue and land reforms, C. Ashok Vardhan and principal secretary, home, Amir Subhani listened to the complainants.
Asked about Nitish’s absence, Atish Chandra said: “He is not well since last night. Doctors have come to see him. In fact, he was extremely eager to take part in this durbar. But we requested him not to take pain, as the next week is quite hectic for him.”
Sanjay Kumar Singh, a complainant from Ara in Bhojpur district, said: “We have not come here to meet the officials, that we can do at our own place. We are here to meet Nitishji. I know very well that they will not do anything, whereas if Nitishji even touched our applications, it would have been more than enough. That would have boosted our morale. By touching the paper, he would assure us that our work would be done. Not like these officials who are just doing routine work.”
Gayatri Devi from Kotwa block in East Champaran did not even submit her application to the three officers.
“I have come here to give this application to the chief minister, not you. I want to meet him at any cost. Otherwise, I will not leave this place,” she said.
Unaware that the chief minister was not around, many of the complainants started shouting when the duty official informed them of Nitish’s absence.
The Monday durbar, where the chief minister listens to each and every applicant individually and which carries on till evening, saw the officers finishing the job in two-and-a-half hours. Cases related to revenue and land reforms and police were heard on Monday.
There was complete chaos in the first hour of the durbar because none of the officials understood how to proceed. The CM’s secretary, Atish Chandra, was seen instructing junior officials. In spite of that, there was no person to take the complainants to the officer concerned.
A senior official of the CM’s secretariat was seen shouting: “What is happening here? Why isn’t there any staff to lead complainants to the officer concerned. Call somebody, make it fast.”
The three officers were seen meeting the complainants, who were seated, one by one. However, the officers held each application in their hands for barely 10 seconds before forwarding it to official concern without listening to their grievances. The trio were so fast that the table of the official concerned became crowded and submission of applications had to be suspended for some time.
Twice, announcements were made, requesting complainants who had submitted their papers to leave the premises.
The huge premises of the durbar also tested the fitness of the three officers. They were found taking rest after regular intervals. In spite of all this, the trio attended to 750 applicants in just two-hand-a-half hours.