The Telegraph
Thursday , September 5 , 2013
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Patna Diary

Something special for trusted officers

AS officer Deepak Kumar is one the most trusted bureaucrats of chief minister Nitish Kumar. Three years ago, he held charge of four departments simultaneously. After his stint at the Centre, he is back as the officer on special duty in the chief minister's office and might have to shoulder burden of several departments as he did in the past. fter Deepak returned to the state, he was handed the charge of principal secretary of the health department — a post he held before he departed for central deputation. “At this rate, you will find Deepak again in charge of four departments,” said a senior official, wondering how the chief minister could give additional charges to an official in one hand and shunt others in the state planning board. Sources said Bihar cadre officials like C.K. Mishra (in picture) and Afzal Amanullah were the other trusted officers of the chief minister and were given multiple charges. “They fled to Delhi on central deputation when the opportunity was given to them. Managing a single department means signing at least 400 files every day,” said a senior officer. There are suggestions in the bureaucracy that the chief minister has posts of advisers ready for every trusted officer who retires.

Red threat poser

Intelligence reports suggesting that Maoists were planning an attack on the Assembly Speaker, Uday Narayan Chaudhary, have triggered suggestions and questions from several MLAs. Ever since Chaudhary became the Speaker, several entry gates of the Assembly have been shut down because of Maoist threat. Only one gate remains open when the House is in session. Legislators have to face frisking. Several MLAs question the veracity of the threat to the Speaker because his name was linked to a Maoist group earlier. “If the government wants it may provide more security. I hope he doesn’t close the remaining gate,” an MLA said.

Woman power

The RJD recently held a meeting of its women’s cell in which former Union minister Kanti Singh and former MLA Prema Choudhary spoke on the alleged growing atrocities on women under the Nitish regime. The party did acknowledge the importance of nurturing women as a vote bank and suggested their inclusion in the formation of polling booth committees. “I am glad that the RJD has at least recognised the importance of women empowerment. When they were in power, women empowerment meant making Rabri Devi the chief minister,” said a JD(U) MLA, stressing that the RJD had several things to do before it could go beyond Rabri as the only symbol of woman power.

Deluge politics

Lalu Prasad and Rabri Devi appear to have realised the misery caused by floods now. They issued statements a couple of days back claiming that chief minister Nitish Kumar had done nothing for the flood victims in 12 districts except embarking on an aerial survey. The JD(U) leaders claimed that Lalu also just undertook flood surveys when he was the chief minister. He even used to taunt the victims saying that they had access to fresh fishes, added a Dal leader. “At least Nitish does not crack jokes on flood victims,” said a JD(U) MLC.