Arjun Munda arrives at the BJP party workers’ conference in Bokaro on Thursday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Bokaro, Feb. 7: Former chief minister Arjun Munda has said his government collapsed only because he did not stoop to satisfy his ruling ally’s demands that were not in the interests of development of Jharkhand.
Addressing partymen at a BJP workers’ conference here today, Munda avoided naming the JMM, which withdrew support to his coalition government last month, leading to a return of President’s Rule in the state.
He argued that had he compromised by meeting selfish demands of the alliance partner, he would have remained in power. But, Munda added, his “conscience” did not permit him to do so.
The three-time chief minister also asked the people of Jharkhand and his party workers to gear up for fulfilling the target of “Mission 2014” by winning all 14 Lok Sabha seats in the state.
“Jharkhand should be on agenda of BJP workers after winning Lok Sabha seats. The nation comes first. So, let us ensure the BJP comes to power at the Centre in the next Lok Sabha poll. Once we achieve that, we will win the elections in Jharkhand, too,” Munda urged the gathering.
Thanking the Almighty for giving him a fresh lease of life following the May 9 helicopter crash last year, Munda recalled the achievements during his tenure and said that he took decisions in the interest of Jharkhand.
“I prioritised economic growth, for which market is needed. There will be market only if the state is well connected with roads. Keeping this in mind, a four-lane road was planned from Ranchi to Sahebganj via Bokaro and Dhanbad to link the state to Tezpur, Assam, and Nathu-la (Sikkim). Another (four-lane) road was planned from Ranchi to Nagarutari (Garhwa), besides another from Ranchi to Cuttack (Odisha) and a fourth one from the capital to Chhattisgarh via Gumla. My stress was on improving communication and economic growth but it did not happen as my government was toppled,” Munda said.
Munda also hit out at regional parties in Jharkhand, alleging they failed to focus on national and nationality but pursued petty politics.
Accusing the UPA government of poor governance, Munda said he regretted to see the Centre sitting idle after the Pakistani army allegedly killed Indian jawans, which he claimed “never happened during the rule of Atal Bihari Vajpayee”.
MPs P.N. Singh (Dhanbad) and Ravindra Pandey (Girdih) and former Union minister Rita Verma also spoke on the occasion.