Saturday, November 12, 2011

Nitish targets 11 at 11.11 on 11/11

Bihar chief minister Mr Nitish Kumar signs the files ordering the prosecution of 11 'tainted' officials on 11/11

Manoj Chaurasia / The Statesman

Patna, 11 Nov: While a huge number of expecting mothers chose to rush to hospitals to have their babies on 11-11-11, Bihar chief minister Mr Nitish Kumar used the occasion to highlight his fight against corruption. At 11.11 a.m. he ordered prosecution of 11 tainted officials!

Believing the day was lucky for this purpose, Mr Kumar signed the files at the hour he deemed auspicious.

But 11-11-11 proved unlucky for the officials, including a former district magistrate, several engineers and a school principal accused of amassing assets disproportionate to their known sources of income.

The only lucky aspect for the officials was that their prosecutions were held up for this special occasion. As per reports, these files had been sent to the chief minister's office a long time ago and should have been approved immediately.

But they were held up for this special occasion. The CM signed the files at the Maharaja Stadium in West Champaran district where he has been staying for the past three days for the much-publicised Seva Yatra, his fifth such voyage in the past three years.

“These files were brought for my approval at 11 in the morning by the officials and I signed them without wasting any moment to get the prosecution started soon”, Mr Kumar told reporters soon after affixing his signatures in the midst of his Janta Durbar being held at the stadium today.

Reports said the files were put up by Mr Chanchal Kumar and Mr Atish Chandra, senior IAS working in the CM’s secretariat.

In his second term as chief minister of Bihar, Mr Kumar has launched a variety of measures to curb corruption in government offices. In September his government set an example for the rest of the country by confiscating the bungalow of a senior IAS officer and converting it into a school for unprivileged children.

His political adversaries though dub these initiatives as mere “political gimmicks aimed at gaining cheap publicity”.

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