Sinha takes class in Hazaribag

Published on Apr 18, 2004 02:54 AM IST

"Don't pilfer power? it's a huge drain on the public exchequer. Don't litter your village with polythene bags ? it upsets the ecological balance."

HT Image
HT Image
PTI | BySuman K Shrivastava, Hazaribag

"Don't pilfer power… it's a huge drain on the public exchequer. Don't litter your village with polythene bags … it upsets the ecological balance."

A run-of-the-mill politician would have avoided the didactic talk, particularly in the election season. But a politician of the stature of external affairs minister Yashwant Sinha, seeking re-election from Hazaribag for the third time, can afford it. And he knows it well.

A small section of the people did resent it. "He does not talk like a politician. He is still a bureaucrat."

Yashwant, however, is unfazed. "Election time is also education time. I don’t only ask for votes, I also advise the electorate," he said, while hopping from one village to another.

"Elections give me time to visit villages. After elections will be over, I'll come down for merely two-three days in a month. It is not possible to visit such villages at short intervals," he admits.

Campaigning in Pali, a village in Patratu, Yashwant fumes on seeing polythene bags piled up in a corner. A young boy in the crowd shot back, "Why don't you get polythene banned".

"Yes, I have asked the district administration to ban it. But it is more important to be aware of the ecological hazards," pat came the minister's reply.

The villagers even got a piece of Yashwant's mind regarding the power crisis. "If you get power by hooking the main supply line, then the power supply is not accounted for. However, the Patratu thermal power station will charge the Jharkhand State Electricity Board (JSEB) for it. Ultimately, the JSEB has to bear the extra burden."

At one place he asks women to form mahila mandals. "Our men will link you with banks and you'll be able to supplement your family's income," he told them.

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