Arjun Munda takes part in Shyam Mahotsav in Jharia, Dhanbad, on Friday. Picture by Gautam Dey
Dhanbad, Nov. 11: Arjun Munda today held the Centre equally responsible for lack of growth in Jharkhand, defending his government which has been frowned upon by home minister P. Chidambaram for failing to contain civilian casualties at the hands of Maoists.
Speaking to mediapersons at Circuit House, the chief minister said lack of development and Left-wing extremism went hand in hand, adding that responsibilities had to be fixed evenly.
Munda conceded that various issues, including lack of development in tribal areas, were addressed during the review meeting chaired by Chidambaram in Ranchi on Wednesday.
“I had raised the issue of lack of development in tribal areas at the National Development Council meeting itself, but no timely action has been taken yet,” he added, hinting at lack of initiative on the Centre’s part.
When questioned about the underdevelopment of the state for 11 years since its formation, Munda retorted, “If somebody asks why the nation is among developing countries even after 60 years of Independence, who will be held responsible?”
“The need of the hour is not to engage in mud-slinging but work together for the development of the state and chalk out a road map for development,” he appealed to all the political parties.
The chief minister also said that he would launch another yatra to survey the state’s roads later this month. “Inefficiency with regard to development of roads will not be tolerated and the guilty will be punished,” he added.
On Babulal Marandi’s claims that his yatra was an attempt to gain political mileage and divert people’s attention from corruption, Munda said the JVM chief had no moral authority to level charges, as his own partymen were corrupt.
“The government is very serious about corruption,” he said, adding that he had also instructed officials to deal firmly with the prevailing “extortion raj” in coal trade.
Regarding his meeting with technocrat Sam Pitroda, Munda said he was keen on turning Jharkhand into a knowledge hub. The chief minister, who arrived in Barwaddah on a helicopter, later left for Jharia to participate in Shyam Mahotsav.