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Prohibition has changed Bihar society, says Guv

Gains accruing from the Nitish Kumar government’s policy of total prohibition was one of the main focus areas of Governor Ram Nath Kovind’s address to a joint sitting of two houses of state legislature

patna Updated: Feb 23, 2017 20:12 IST
Anirban Guha Roy / Vijay Swaroop
Anirban Guha Roy / Vijay Swaroop
Hindustan Times, Patna
Bihar legislature,Governor's address,Budget session
Bihar governor Ramnath Kovind addressing a joint sitting of two houses of state legislature in Patna on Thursday. (AP Dube/HT photo)

Governor Ramnath Kovind , on Thursday, underlined the gains accruing from the complete prohibition policy of the ruling ‘grand alliance’ government in Bihar . He was addressing a joint sitting of the two houses on the opening day of the budget session of the state legislature.

In his address, the governor set the tone for the tasks which lay ahead for the government, while underlining the targets visualised .

“Prohibition has made the society stronger, healthier and self-restrained, which has a direct bearing on the state ‘s development,” said Kovind, in his one-and-half hour address. “It has improved economic condition of families while reducing crime and family feuds,” he added

The governor said compared to figures for the April 2015 to January 2016 period, cases of murder came down by 22 % in the past financial year. Similarly, cases loot decreased by 18%, dacoity 23%, riots 33%, kidnapping for ransom by 42% and road accidents declined by 17%,” he said.

The 17-page speech listed the state government’s achievement in the fields of law and order, health, women empowerment, government’s seven resolves, education, agriculture and irrigation.

BJP, the main opposition party in the state, did not find the governor’s speech very ‘encouraging.’

“The claim of in the governor’s speech of a fall in organised crime, prepared by the state government, does not present the real picture and is misleading. After prohibition was enforced, crime has increased since last May. They should have given figures for the post-April period,” said senior BJP leader Sushil Kumar Modi.

Kovind’s speech reiterated the government’s commitment to “growth with justice” for all and emphasis on “kanoon ka sashan (rule of law).”

Kovind also spoke about the state government’s policy of zero tolerance of corruption, saying nine cases had been registered under the Bihar Special Courts Act of 2009 and seizure of unaccounted property amassed in these cases was underway.

“So far, in eight cases, unaccounted properties of public servants have been seized and the State Vigilance Investigation Bureau, in the past one year, laid 110 traps against corrupt officials and arrested 121 persons,” he said.

Expressing the government’s commitment to women’s empowerment, he said, “The state government, in fulfilment of one of its seven resolves, has reserved 35% positions for women in all state government jobs. So far, 2,414 women have benefitted from this decision,” Kovind said.

The governor, in his address, also claimed that owing to improvement in medicare, female mortality rate in Bihar has fallen to 208 in 2013 from 371 in 2005.

The governor also highlighted the achievements in road, social forestry, agriculture and minorities welfare sectors.

However, the governor’s assertion that a total of 5,175 graveyards had been fenced, drew sharp criticism from BJP. “Fencing of graveyards is welcome, but we would like to know what happened to state government’s Muktidham Yojna,” countered Modi. The plan concerns construction/ renovation of crematoriums.

First Published: Feb 23, 2017 20:12 IST