Nitish Kumar to Duplicate Bihar Model of Development in Jharkhand

Chief Minister Nitish Kumar speaking in Ranchi on Saturday.

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Ranchi: After expanding government multifold and giving virtually unlimited power to the bureaucrats to manage the state, Chief Minister Nitish Kumar is eyeing to repeat his model of success in Jharkhand now where he is going directly against his ally in Bihar Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).

Sounding the poll bugle in the state that was part of Bihar till 2000, Kumar, speaking at a function organized by the Janata Dal – U state-level convention in Ranchi on Saturday, said that while the 'river of development' was flowing in Bihar since he became the Chief Minister in 2005, Jharkhand, Bihar's sister, was struggling on every front including economic, social justice, education, healthcare, and development in other areas.

"Nineteen years ago, when Jharkhand was carved out of Bihar, people in the state were worried how they would survive since nearly all mineral resources went to Jharkhand. Then my government came along in 2005 and in the last 14 years, we were able to 'flow the Ganga of development' in the state while Jharkhand remains miles behind in development," Kumar said without mentioning the name of Jharkhand Chief Minister Raghubar Das or the BJP that happens to be Kumar's ally in Bihar.

Taking a not so subtle jab at his Jharkhand counterpart, Kumar said that while alcohol was banned in Bihar, those who wanted to drink alcohol were coming to Jharkhand where number of liquor shops had skyrocketed in the last two years.

"If this is not shameful then what is it?" Kumar asked adding if his party made government in Jharkhand, one of the first things he would is to impose prohibition.

"I received a ton of criticism over prohibition with people claiming the state would lose a huge some of money in excise tax but whatever loss we had incurred, we have already made up for that," the Chief Minister said without offering any evidence how he managed to do that.

The state, under Kumar's leadership, has found many ways to compensate for the lost by imposing fines on just about everything from traffic violation to seizing properties of those flouting the prohibition laws. There have also been allegations that the state government is making money by allowing liquor to flow in the state at an extremely high price.

The Chief Minister laid out 'Five Resolves', on the pattern of 'Seven Resolves' of Bihar, for Jharkhand that aims to usher economic development and social harmony in the state along with reservation for the adivasis and minorities.

Keeping up with his fondness for a gargantuan bureaucracy involving hundreds of departments, committees, sub-committees, and commissions, Kumar said one of the things he would do in Jharkhand is to create block-level 'authorities' consisting of qualified officers to deal with local issues and problems.


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