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CM hit on soft corner

Patna, July 3: Ever since Nitish Kumar became chief minister in 2005, the political joke is he is trying to make his own district Nalanda the capital of Bihar.

Rajgir in Nalanda district has seen mega projects coming up — revival of Nalanda University, an international class convention hall, an ordnance factory (started by George Fernandes when he was defence minister) among others. BJP leaders, when they were ministers, were only too happy to accommodate projects related to their department in the chief minister’s home district, Nalanda.

Thrown out of power, the party is now taking on Nitish Kumar for “ignoring other districts” at the cost of Nalanda.

A Medical Council of India (MCI) team recently allowed admission into MBBS course at a new medical college at Pawapuri, birthplace of Lord Mahavira, in Nalanda. However, the team disallowed admissions into IGIMS, Patna for a year and denied it to a new government medical college in Bettiah, West Champaran.

Senior BJP leader Chandra Mohan Rai was Bihar’s health minister in 2007 when Nitish had expressed his desire for a new medical college at Pawapuri. Rai, as health minister, set the ball rolling for a new medical college at Pawapuri and also at Bettiah, headquarters of his own home district of West Champaran. On Monday, Rai held the state responsible for the Bettiah college not taking off. “The government put the Bettiah Medical College in cold storage despite it being in a more advantageous position,” Rai said.

He alleged that his successor, former health minister Ashwini Kumar Choubey, had given a detailed proposal on building infrastructure for the Bettiah Medical College. “But the chief minister turned it down in the cabinet saying two of the 28 acres were encroached upon by illegal inhabitants,” Rai said. On the other hand, he said, Pawapuri received huge sums for acquisition of land and infrastructure. I have no objections to a medical college coming up in Nalanda. But the chief minister should treat West Champaran, Purnea, Sasaram and every district as his home distict.

BJP MLA and its national secretary Rameshwar Chaurasia accused the government of illegally supplying stone chips in Sasaram to a particular construction firm.

Clearly, the BJP is going after the Nitish government in every area — including his love for Nalanda.


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