The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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House backs bifurcation

Jamshedpur, Jan. 6: The house unanimously passed the motion: Separation from Bihar is the best thing to have happened to Jharkhand at the annual The Telegraph debate this evening at Tata Auditorium.

The ball was set rolling with C.P. Thakur, former Union health minister, taking a balanced stand highlighting the essence of a symbiotic relationship between Bihar and Jharkhand. “What one has, the other doesn’t,” Thakur pointed out while maintaining, “Partition between brothers can never be a good thing to happen.” Thakur conveyed his message in a simple statement that small is beautiful is not applicable to Jharkhand.

If Thakur appealed to the house not to humour the motion but dwell upon it for its serious appeal, Marandi’s take on the politicians of Bihar and their claims on the “younger brother” was full with wit. “As long as we have politicians from Bihar we will hold them as our role models. And if we do so, we will also try to better them and one knows what might happen then,” Marandi said suggestively and added, “In a bid to do so there comes the golmaal. I agree there is golmaal in this state now but there will come maal one day.”

Tariq Anwar, the NCP leader, on the other hand, felt, “Naxalism is taking root because of economic disparity and lack of employment opportunities in Jharkhand.” He, too, was of the opinion that if the leadership in Jharkhand works towards development there will be no other state in its league. In counter-argument, former chief secretary P.P. Sharma picked up the lines of Anwar and asked how could people with different economic requirements be met with the same policies.

Ajay Kumar, national president, Indian Medical Association, gave it all away as he endeavoured a humour stint in calling Jharkhand “an already diabetic state”. The implication of the genetic inheritance of the disease from the “big brother” was well unintended. Kumar instead wished to insinuate that one might have problems but it is up to that person to control the disease.

Speaking for the motion Mabel Rebello, Congress MP, said: “At any point of time smaller states are better-off and the most evident example is Chhattisgarh. For Jharkhand, the need of the hour is to take initiatives to develop the new state.” To this came the opposition’s stiff reply from Harivansh, the editor of Prabhat Khabar. “The formation of Jharkhand might be a blessing but people’s expectations have failed miserably,” Harivansh said.

Salkhan Murmu, former BJP MP, wrapped up supporting the motion.

The packed audience cast their vote by raising their hands in favour of the motion. However, Tata Steel MD, B. Muthuraman, who felicitated the speakers, had the last say. “I was a Bihari six years ago but today I am a Jharkhandi.”

The gathering relished the war of words held in association with Tata Steel. National Insurance Company Limited was the presenting sponsor of the debate.


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