What was he doing in his two tenures? asks Congress

Ranchi: Former Jharkhand Chief Minister and BJP’s Jamshedpur Lok Sabha nominee Arjun Munda is facing uncomfortable questions from his opponents as the two-time Chief Minister tries to use lack of basic infrastructure in his constituency as his poll plank.

“The people of the constituency have been facing water scarcity and have no infrastructure,” Mr. Munda said when asked what issues he has picked up during campaigning.

“But who was responsible for this? asks Congress. “The State has seen six governments since 2000, and the BJP-led NDA had the maximum tenure with Mr. Munda having got to rule more years than any other Chief Minister. Why did he not addressed the shortcomings which has come to his notice now?” asked JPCC general secretary Sailesh Sinha.

Mr. Munda became Chief Minister twice after replacing Babulal Marandi in 2003 and ruled the State for over three years.

But Mr. Munda counters such queries with attacking the UPA Governments under independent MLA Madhu Koda and JMM president Shibu Soren and blending national issues in his campaigning. “The two UPA Governments in Jharkhand made a mockery of the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act by using machines and thereby depriving employment to the BPL people and corruption was neck deep,” Mr. Munda, who headed the NDA government in 2003 and 2005, said.

Mr. Munda was successful in roping in party president L.K. Advani to kick off the electioneering in Jharkhand from his constituency on March 6 despite another party senior Yashwant Sinha, contesting from Hazaribag, being in the fray. Picking up from Mr. Advani’s speech, Munda too is highlighting internal security, price rise and other national issues.

“During the UPA reign at the Centre, common people were hit hard following the skyrocketing of prices and terror strikes were at its worst,” alleges Mr. Munda. Accusing the little over two years reign by the UPA in Jharkhand of pushing the State where it had begun, Mr. Munda claimed that had the BJP-led NDA government continued than the face of the state would have been a different one. -- PTI