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Manjhi opens up in House on debut

Patna, May 23: The change of guard in the state has led to a change in the style of functioning of the chief minister as well.

If former chief minister Nitish Kumar was known for his reserved nature, his successor Jitan Ram Manjhi is more open when it comes to meeting legislators. The MLAs today shared their problems with Manjhi, while he was sitting in his chamber during the lunch break of the special Assembly session.

Apart from this, the chief minister was also seen making calls to an official concerned about the points raised by the legislators. In contrast, when Nitish was at the helm, legislators rarely shared their problems with him.

Undeterred by the vehement attack of the Opposition during the first-half of the House proceedings, Manjhi exhibited his long experience in parliamentary politics when JD(U) leader Ram Kishore Singh drew his attention towards the scathing attack by the Leader of Opposition, Nand Kishore Yadav.

Singh said: “Sir, did you hear the way he (Nand Kishore) was speaking about you and Nitishji? It was very embarrassing.” Manjhi, however, smiled and said: “What do you expect of him as a Leader of Opposition? Do you want him to praise me, is it possible?”

Manjhi has been a legislator since 1980.

Suddenly, law minister Narendra Narayan Yadav interrupted and said: “Ram Kishoreji, please do not start such discussions, we have come here for serious work.”

Rabindra Rai, the MLA from Mahua Assembly seat, said funds under the Mukhyamantri Setu Nirman Yojana were not reaching his constituency for the past three years. Dhauraiya MLA Manish Kumar apprised the chief minister of a similar problem.

Narendra Narayan told the chief minister that funds for the Mukhyamantri Setu Nirman Yojana is sanctioned by the road construction department. Manjhi immediately dialled an intercom number and asked the official concerned on the other side to connect him to the road construction secretary, Pratyaya Amrit.

Within a few seconds Amrit was on the line. Manjhi said: “I am in the Assembly now. A few MLAs have come here and informed me that funds under the Mukhyamantri Setu Nirman Yojana had not been sanctioned in districts like Banka, Gaya, Aurangabad and Nawada. Can you tell me something about this?”

After speaking for aro- und three to four minutes, Manjhi told Amrit: “Okay, just look into the matter and make sure their problems are solved.”

JD(U) MLC Upendra Prasad then told Manjhi about Thursday’s incident in Gaya, where villagers in Dumaria block attacked police after a girl’s body was found. “Sir, the situation is quite tense over there and I request you to kindly intervene in the matter.” Manjhi again asked the official on the intercom to connect him to Gaya senior superintendent of police (SSP) Nishant Kumar Tiwary.

Within a few second, Manjhi told the Gaya SSP: “What is happening in the Dumaria case? Upendraji has come to me. The matter is quite serious. Please carry out your work according to the law.”

After all these, one of the legislators said: “It is really good that the chief minister is listening to our complaints and issuing directives immediately. It was not possible when Nitishji was at the helm.”


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