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Raghuvansh accuses Nitish of not spending development funds

D K Singh  |  New Delhi 

Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and Union Rural Development Minister Raghuvansh Prasad Yadav are engaged in an interesting battle of wits.
It started with the CM taking swipes at the Union minister for writing letters to him about the non-implementation of Central schemes in the state. Apparently piqued by a flurry of letters from Yadav, the senior JD (U) leader asked the RJD minister if he had also begun to do secretary's job.
The CM's remarks evoked strong reaction from Yadav. "My Joint Secretary writes to his Secretary, and my Secretary to his Chief Secretary. Yet, there is no initiative to use the money allocated by the Centre. So, when I have to intervene for the welfare of the people of Bihar, I will write to the CM only. Hum chitthi nahin likhenge to danda chalayenge (Should I wield a stick instead of writing letters)?" the Union minister told Business Standard.
According to him, the present regime in Bihar is doing worse than the previous RJD regime.
"The RJD regime (replaced in November 2005) had left an opening balance of around Rs 100 crore under the Indira Awas Yojana; it stands at Rs 1,260 crore today, including Rs 495 crore from the last financial year. The present regime in Bihar has not even started disbursing Rs 134 crore under the old age pension scheme," added Yadav.
As for the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the Union minister claimed that the performance of Nitish Kumar government on this front is so "pathetic" that even job cards have not been issued to the needy.
Under the Accelerated Rural Water Supply Programme in Bihar, the opening balance stands at Rs 125 crore.
"Nitish Kumar government has not been able to utilise around Rs 2,000 crore under different schemes from my ministry only. The Centre does not give him the money to keep in banks. It should be used. If I were to stop the release of the next instalment because of non-utilisation of funds, Nitish would say I am playing politics. He does not even want the Centre to tell him that he should focus on implementing schemes, instead of making big talks in the media," said Yadav taking his battle with the Bihar CM into another round.

First Published: Tue, December 05 2006. 00:00 IST