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Cong’s bias barb at PM

Ranchi, Aug. 20: The euphoria surrounding Narendra Modi’s visit to Jharkhand tomorrow to launch a series of projects has ruffled feathers in the state Congress, which claimed that the Prime Minister was misusing his official position to give a one-upmanship to his party, the BJP.

The Congress is also sniffing an attempt to deny the chief minister and local leaders the credit of the projects that Modi will be inaugurating online at a function on Prabhat Tara Ground in Ranchi’s Dhurwa. The BJP, it alleged, was giving the entire programme the colour of a party campaign.

“The Prime Minister will inaugurate a power grid in Bero, Ranchi, lay the foundation stone of an oil pipeline between Haldia and Khunti, formally kick off groundwork for NTPC’s North Karanpura thermal power project in Chatra among other projects tomorrow. All these are government functions and the departments concerned have published advertisements for the success of these ventures. But what’s surprising is that the names and pictures of Jharkhand chief minister and the local MPs are missing from the advertisements. This shows that the Prime Minister is blatantly misusing his power,” said state unit Congress president Sukhdeo Bhagat at a news conference today.

He accused Modi of playing partisan politics by refusing to grant appointment to chief minister Hemant Soren in the past while holding meetings with state BJP leaders to discuss his future action plans for Jharkhand.

“Ironically, this same man propagates that politics should not be mingled with the development of states. The Prime Minister and his party are taking the credit for all the projects to be inaugurated tomorrow. But the power grid project was started by the Manmohan Singh government at the Centre. Other tall claims about development being made by the Prime Minister across the country are actually the result of initiatives taken by the erstwhile UPA government,” Bhagat said.

He also strongly objected to the humiliation meted out to Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda in Modi’s presence at a public function in Kaithal yesterday. But Bhagat clarified, that his party, which runs the Jharkhand government in alliance with JMM, would not mount pressure on chief minister Hemant Soren to boycott Modi’s programme.

JMM general secretary Supriyo Bhattacharya also maintained that though his party would not encourage the chief minister to violate protocol and stay away from Modi’s function, it was also against the way the Prime Minister was misusing the official machinery to give political leverage to his party.