The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Karia joins Sinha chorus

Ranchi, June 22: After Yashwant Sinha yesterday, another senior BJP leader today wielded the stick on the government run by the party.

Former union minister Karia Munda said: Though I do not have any proof, I have heard that there have been certain misunderstandings in the len-den (give-and-take) business. And, where there is smoke, there is always some fire.”

If BJP circles remained unfazed by the public criticism of the state government by a senior BJP leader like Sinha, they appeared devastated by Karia’s explanation.

Chief minister Arjun Munda, who is increasingly looking like a cornered Abhimanyu, however, chose to put up a brave front. “I am neither disturbed nor scared by such statements,” he said. “After all, anybody is free to criticise the state government.”

The happiest lot at the development is, predictably, the Babulal Marandi camp. Former industry minister Ravindra Rai said with unconcealed glee: “Yashwant Sinha had criticised Babulalji for raising internal matters through the media; but eventually he too has been forced to speak out.” With mock gravity, he then added, “But disciplined soldiers of the BJP like us are bound to stand by the Munda government.”

The public spat became a talking point in political circles here with the chief minister’s camp alleging that Sinha was peeved because Munda had failed to endorse some of his recommendations regarding posting of bureaucrats. Former Ranchi MP Ram Tahal Choudhary, they felt, is yet to overcome the shock of being forced to quit the chairmanship of Tenughat Vidyut Nigam Limited.

In a letter to the chief minister, leaked to the media, Choudhary complained of rampant corruption, illegal mining and theft of coal. He said compared to the requirement of Rs 600 crore, the budget had provided for only Rs 100 crores for roads and bridges.

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