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Fiat for Cong ministers

Ranchi, Jan. 3: Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh today asked state HRD minister Geetashree Oraon to complete recruitment of 18,000 schoolteachers fast, while setting a 60-day deadline for other Congress ministers to finish projects of their respective departments.

Also, the Union minister categorically asked party MLAs to “stay away” from transfer and posting of government officials.

“We discussed various issues concerning the organisation and sought party leaders’ inputs on various welfare projects,” Ramesh told mediapersons after a marathon meeting of the Congress legislative party in Ranchi today.

Ramesh, who arrived in Ranchi this afternoon, said around 14,000 teachers would be recruited in government primary schools, apart from around 4,000 Urdu teachers.

Sources said Ramesh directed Oraon to complete the process by February 15.

Later, state Congress chief Sukhdeo Bhagat said another 9,000 teachers would receive promotion by the end of this month.

Ramesh also asked Congress ministers to improve their performance and complete all ongoing projects by the end of March.

During the meeting, Ramesh pulled up agriculture minister Yogendra Sao, who earlier accused NTPC of forcefully acquiring land of farmers in Hazaribagh. Insiders said Ramesh was unhappy with Sao for obstructing railway and NTPC projects.

Ramesh also announced that a 100-bed hospital each would be opened in Palamau and Rajmahal soon, and said 30-bed hospitals would come up in 12 other districts.

Party insiders said some MLAs raised the issue of sand mining, which had come to a standstill in the state, even after chief minister Hemant Soren scrapped auctioning of riverbeds.

On this, Ramesh promised to take up the matter with the chief minister during a meeting of the coordination committee of the state government tomorrow. Ramesh is the chairman of the committee.