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Patna Diary

News meet can wait, not work

Usually, the ministers of the state are expected to wait for chief minister Nitish Kumar. But last Monday, Nitish kept waiting for one of his colleagues at janata darbar. fter finishing his work, Nitish was about to address a news meet with his ministers when he saw rural development minister Nitish Mishra surrounded by at least 25 petitioners. Noticing Nitish, Mishra thought of joining him. But the chief minister told Mishra to finish his work first. “I will wait for you,” Nitish told Mishra. The chief minister actually waited for half-an-hour, till Mishra disposed of the complainants. “Nitish is very particular about ministers doing their work at the janata darbar. He scolded ministers trying to leave before the event drew to a close,” said another minister, stressing that waiting for Mishra was just in keeping with his principle that ministers should finish their work first.

In demand

Road construction minister Nand Kishore Yadav is not only in demand among the masses. He is equally in demand of his cabinet colleagues. A few ministers went to his desk in a janata darbar with request for the construction and repair of roads in their respective constituencies. “Everybody, including ministers, need roads,” a colleague of Yadav said. “Yadav has shuttled between the health and the road construction ministry. Both these portfolios are important because every leader appears to know a doctor seeking a transfer to a favoured place and every leader is under pressure to get roads repaired,” a senior BJP leader said.

Firm truth

A senior officer received a series of text messages on his mobile pleading to him to meet a top executive of a south India-based construction company blacklisted by his department. “Numerous firms of south India are doing brisk business in Bihar. They appear to be backed by a powerful lobby of officers hailing from south India,” an officer of a works department said, recalling that the state had to give around Rs 80 crore to a south Indian firm when the government lost a case during the Lalu Prasad’s regime. “The case was deliberately weakened,” he alleged. The south Indian officials, however, denied any favour to companies in their respective states.

Tremor benefits a few

A few having food at a restaurant benefited because of the panic caused by the earthquake last Sunday. A restaurant owner said: “When the tremors started, everybody, including the employees and cooks, rushed outside. When the tremor stopped everybody returned, except some customers. They vanished without paying their bills.”
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