Off the record


As per tradition, Budget session is a season of gifts for MLAs. But when the department doled out its best possible gift, only the chink in its armour came to the fore. The MLAs were presented with a first aid medical kit.
Binod Singh, the lone CPI (ML) legislator, found some medicines due to expire within a month!
“This is just a manifestation of the fact how deep corruption is rooted in Jharkhand. People in the state continue to suffer due to poor health facilities,” said Singh.
Who is to be blamed? If Munnabhai (the character played by Sanjay Dutt in ‘Munnabhai MBBS’) had his way, he would have been at his wit’s best on Jharkhand legislators saying, “Circuit, akha India aisa kahi nahi hota. Yelog Mananiye sadasayon ko bhi Mamu bana dala. (Circuit, it does happen elsewhere in India. They made fool of even the honourable legislators).”
Sandeep Bhaskar, Ranchi

Transparent environment
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh — whose symbolisation of transparency in the form of a glass door at his office chamber — has apparently got into a tiff with his fellow Congress MP Navin Jindal.
The root of the problem, according to the grapevine, lies in a recent meeting between the two. Jindal, whose family is one of the biggest steel plant owners in the country, apparently used the meeting to pooh-pooh Ramesh’s much-vaunted claim of making his ministry corruption-free by giving him details of all those in the ministry whose palms his people had to grease to get clearance for certain projects.
Jindal, the grapevine avers, made light of Ramesh’s efforts to make his ministry an example of corruption-free efficiency, while making the claim. This led to an exchange of words between the two, before both decided to stop talking to each other.
Utpal Borpujari, New Delhi

Gun with the wind
Exactly five years after she was ousted as the chief minister of Bihar, more bad news continue to pour in for Rabri Devi. The 60-odd gun-totting security personnel, deputed at her official residence (which she is entitled to as the Leader of the Opposition in the Bihar Assembly), has been withdrawn with immediate effect.
The order came on a day when she was protesting outside the Assembly to incorporate quota within quota in the Women’s Reservation Bill. But top police officials attach no political significance to the scaling down of her security cover.
“The former chief minister was provided security cover under the Special Security Guards (SSG) Act, which came into effect in 2000. Based on the pattern of the SPG, the Act provides for SSG cover for CM and his/her predecessor for five years after relinquishing the office,” said a top cop.
Last year, Lalu too had created a brouhaha when his security cover, including RPF personnel, was withdrawn from Rabri’s residence after he ceased to be Union railway minister.
Seems the erstwhile rulers of Bihar are passing through a lean phase and paying a heavy price for having ruffled the Congress high command’s feathers on the eve of the Lok Sabha polls last year.
Abhay Kumar, Patna

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