The Bihar Post

Mad scramble among Bihar’s ruling coalition partners to hold Junta Durbars


PATNA—People in Bihar are literally confused to decide where they should to go to get “justice” since options are plenty these days. Believe it or not, there has been a mad scramble among the NDA ministers and leaders to hold “Junta Durbars” in Bihar right since chief minister Nitish Kumar resumed his interaction with the masses last month.

Especially, on Tuesday as many as four Junta Durbars are being organized in the state capital, much to the amusement of the masses!

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It all began after chief minister Kumar resumed his weekly interaction programme with the masses nicknamed “Junta ke Durbar me Mukhya Mantri” on 12 July to solve the people’s problems on the spot.

However, the chief minister, perhaps, never knew that his move would set off a sort of a bizarre competition among his alliance partners to follow his idea.

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First, it was the BJP which announced to hold Junta Durbar on six days a week at the party office except Sundays. On each working day, a group of three party ministers have been attending the Junta Durbar to listen to the grievances of the masses between 11 AM and 1 PM and solve their problems. This has been continuing since 2 Aug.

The move has seen scores of people rushing to the BJP office everyday hoping for solution of their lingering problems. According to political experts, the idea is aimed at projecting itself as the “well-wishers” of the masses and nothing else.

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“The BJP has already begun its plan to expand its support base with the objective to have its own chief minister after the next assembly polls,” said a political expert. However, a party spokesperson Akhilesh Singh the move was aimed at helping the villagers in distress.

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Similarly, the JD-U led by chief minister Kumar too has been holding Junta Durbars in the party office four days a week—from Tuesday to Friday.

At least two ministers have been attending the Junta Durbar to listen to the people’s grievances and on-the-spot redressal of the problems. It’s however not clear how much this has helped the masses since huge crowds of complainants are seen at every Junta Durbar.

If they are not enough, the Hindustani Awam Morcha (HAM) headed by former chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi is also holding Junta Durbar every Tuesday. Manjhi’s son Santosh Manjhi is a minister in the NDA government.

Curiously, the idea of Junta Durbar came into being soon after Kumar came to power in 2005 and started holding Junta Durbar at his official residence from next year. He discontinued it in 2016 but later resumed it last month.

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