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Bihar minister living below poverty line?

india Updated: Nov 13, 2006 19:38 IST
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In a classic case of official blunder, the name of State Rural Development Minister Baidyanath Prasad Mahto has been included in the list of people below poverty line (BPL).

Shocked at this haphazard identification of BPL families, he promptly ordered a probe by the Commissioner of Tirhut division. Surprisingly, it is Mahto under whose supervision BPL list is being finalised.

The BPL evaluators gave only six points to the Minister and promptly put him in the list of BPL beneficiaries. However, Mahto himself thinks that he should have been given at least 40 points.

A resident of Pakariya village in Nautan block of West Champaran district, Mahto, is outraged at being included in the BPL list. Speaking over the telephone from Motihari on Sunday, the minister admitted that he had ordered an inquiry into how his name figured in the BPL list.

"The probe will make it clear whether this has happened inadvertently or there is a conspiracy to embarrass me," he added.

The minister said that he had a pucca house in the village and owned a jeep besides cultivable land. "I should have got at least 40 marks," he asserted.

Mahto said that when the matter was brought to his notice he took a printout of the BPL list of his panchayat and found his name figuring in it.

"I immediately ordered the Tirhut Commissioner to conduct an inquiry and punish the guilty," he said.

The Minister also informed Chief Minister Nitish Kumar about inclusion of his name in the BPL list.

Email ashok.mishra@hindustantimes.com

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