The Telegraph
Wednesday , January 30 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Munda to hit road again

Ranchi, Jan. 29: Arjun Munda is not at the helm of state affairs any more, but that is not going to stop him from venturing out and seeing for himself the status of projects initiated during his regime.

Munda plans to restart his famous road tours and travel down the same route he had taken a few months ago in the capacity of the chief minister to see the changes that have taken place since then. He has directed his personal staff to compile reports on his instructions to officials during such spot visits.

The trips, the dates of which are yet to be fixed, can be seen as an attempt to put it across to masses as well as his rivals that he and his party, BJP, were as much serious about development now as it was when in power.

“People are complaining that groundwork has come to a grinding halt after President’s Rule was clamped in the state. There should be no politicking in the name of overall welfare of commoners. I again urge Congress leaders at the Centre to ensure that ongoing welfare and development schemes are not hampered,” he told The Telegraph during a chat at his Ranchi home, where several party workers from far-flung areas had come.

He sought feedback from them on the current status of projects initiated by his government. Turning to a group that had arrived from Sahebganj and Pakur districts, he enquired about the “net outcome” of JVM chief Babulal Marandi’s 22-day dharna before Panem Coalfields Limited in Amrapara.

A mysterious smile played on his lips when the workers informed him that it failed to create any impact on the commoners as they realised that Marandi had already met Panem bosses in Calcutta before beginning his “high-voltage drama”.

Some urged him to visit Pakur on February 9 and address public meetings, adding that BJP became a big beneficiary in Santhal Pargana after JMM toppled the coalition government. “You ought to pep up preparations to fight out new challenges. I will be coming soon. But I am not sure whether I will be able to make it on February 9,” he added.

As the discussions were on, a group of weavers from Seraikela-Kharsawan complained that assistance from the state government had stopped. Munda promised to take up their cases with officials concerned.

According to insiders, the BJP was working out news strategies in the event of JMM agreeing to support an alternative government led by Congress. Moreover, as Munda is very close to newly elected BJP president Rajnath Singh, he has bigger responsibilities to shoulder.

Congress state president Pradeep Kumar Balmuchu admitted that till a few days ago, no central leader was willing to hear anything about formation of an alternative government in the state, but now they were willing to lend an ear.