Detractors of Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar in his alliance partner, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) say, Kumar did nothing to alleviate the suffering of Patna residents during the floods and it was not until Lok Sabha MP from Patna Saheb and Union Minister for Law and Telecom Ravi Shankar Prasad reached Patna on the night of September 29, that some sort of rescue effort began. Prasad cancelled several high-level meetings, spoke to Union Minister for Coal Prahlad Joshi and sought four de-watering pumps that are used in coal mines to be sent immediately to Patna from Chhattisgarh. The 18-member team of men and machines from South Eastern Coalfields Limited had to stay in private hotels as the Kumar government could not offer them accommodation. Prasad also spoke to Central Water Minister Gajendra Shekhawat and asked him to open all the gates of the Farakka dam so that the water level in the region could go down. He then spoke to the defence secretary, after which two helicopters were given for distribution of relief material. All this is being recounted gleefully to highlight Kumar’s failure. Of course, Patna is Prasad’s constituency.
‘Burdened’ by work
Recently during a television interview to NDTV’s Nidhi Razdan, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath was asked about Jyotiraditya Scindia’s open play for being the next state PCC chief (currently the job is being held by Nath himself). Deadpan, Nath replied that he was “very open” to the idea of Scindia being the state Congress chief as he felt “burdened” by the additional responsibility.