Nitish recalls RJD’s ‘darker times’ to highlight ‘shining’ Bihar - Hindustan Times
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Nitish recalls RJD’s ‘darker times’ to highlight ‘shining’ Bihar

By, Patna
Nov 01, 2023 09:58 PM IST

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar compared the power situation in the state before he took office in 2005 to highlight improvements made under his leadership. Kumar also called on the power firm to complete installation of smart prepaid meters and promote solar power. This is not the first time Kumar has criticized the previous RJD rule in Bihar.

The unease between the two major alliance partners of the Mahagathbandhan (MGT) in Bihar was once again evident on Wednesday, when chief minister Nitish Kumar drew a comparison of the power situation in the state since he took over the reins in 2005 from Lalu Prasad’s RJD, currently the largest constituent of the ruling alliance.

Bihar CM Nitish Kumar speaks at the function to mark the 11th foundation day of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited, in Patna on Wednesday. (HT photo)
Bihar CM Nitish Kumar speaks at the function to mark the 11th foundation day of Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited, in Patna on Wednesday. (HT photo)

“Bees saal pehle kya thi bijli ki sthithi, yaad hai na (what was the condition of power supply 20 years back, do you remember),” Kumar asked the audience at a function to mark the 11th foundation day of the Bihar State Power Holding Company Limited (BSPHCL) in Patna, where he also inaugurated and laid foundation stone of power projects worth 13,934.89 crore, of which 12,509.74 crore would be spent for installation of smart prepaid meters in remaining 112 lakh households of rural consumers in the state.

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The CM asked the power firm to complete installation of smart prepaid meters on a war footing by 2024 and also give fillip to solar power.

“Bihar used to draw only 700 MW power supply, which has now increased to 7,000 MW. During those days (prior to 2005), even the state capital would get only around eight hours of power supply in a day,” Kumar said.

“We have taken electricity to every household... See how fast we worked Bihar as soon as we got an opportunity in the state,” he said, adding Bihar was the first state where all households were electrified two months before the Centre’s deadline (December 2018).

Turning towards the three ministers sitting on the dais, which included state’s power minister Bijendra Yadav, who belongs to the chief minister’s Janata Dal-United (JD-U), Alok Mehta of the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) who holds revenue and land reforms portfolio and Sunil Kumar of the JD-U, who holds excise and prohibition portfolio, the CM said, “Do not take individual credit for any work. Attribute it to the state government. I do not take any individual credit... I credit it to the state government... Our state government has been doing so much work...”

This isn’t the first time that CM Kumar has made critical remarks about the RJD rule in Bihar that lasted 15 years, till 2005.

On October 28, speaking as the chief guest at the 29th annual conference of the Cardiological Society of India (Bihar chapter), the chief minister had reminded doctors about their “condition earlier”, an apparent reference to the period when Bihar was infamous for kidnapping, especially of doctors who were seen as soft prey for ransom.

Later, talking to reporters after the BSPHCL function, Kumar gave a clean chit to the recent recruitment process to appoint teachers, which has been marred by allegations of irregularities. Hitting out at critics, including the opposition BJP, he said, “Why did they not raise the issue earlier when they were in the government.”

Kumar will distribute appointment letters to nearly 1.20 lakh teachers at a function at Patna’s Gandhi Maidan on Thursday.

The CM parried away a question on the Enforcement Directorate’s summon to Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal. saying he was not aware about it.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Ruchir writes on health, aviation, power and myriad other issues. An ex-TOI, he has worked both on Desk and in reporting. He over 25 years of broadcast and print journalism experience in Assam, Jharkhand & Bihar.

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