Gaya: Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi on Sunday evening pledged to do for Gaya what Nitish Kumar did for the development of Nalanda and Sri Babu for Munger.
Inaugurating the Shrawani Mela at Baijudham, being developed as the Bihar version of Babadham for Lord Shiva followers in the Guraru block area of Gaya district, Manjhi regretted that unlike former chief ministers Sri Krishna Sinha and Nitish Kumar, he did not have enough time to outdo his role model CMs. Justifying his special love for Gaya, the CM said it was natural for him to have a soft corner for Gaya and there was nothing wrong with that as his predecessors too had similar attachment with their native places.
Manjhi, who offered prayers at the local shrine and offered water at the Shiva lingam, also announced a slew of measures to develop Baijudham as a tourist pilgrimage at a cost of more than Rs 2.5 crore. The Baijudham development project has to be completed within a year. He said besides the renovation of the Baijudham shrine, facilities like pond, marriage mandap, parking lot, solar lighting, shopping complex etc will be created at the shrine site. Baijudham, it may be recalled, came into limelight about a decade back at the initiative of the then local MLA and minister Shakil Ahmad Khan.
The CM reiterated his commitment to ensure the state’s development at a fast pace. Virtually pouring his heart out, the CM regretted that in the last parliamentary election the good work done by the JD (U) government was not rewarded by the electorate and such voter behaviour tended to discourage the doers among politicians. Manjhi hoped the voters will, in future, reward the performers. Delivering a note of caution, he said those trying to block the state’s forward march would be sternly dealt with.
Exhorting the Mahadalits and other disadvantaged groups to give up alcoholism, the CM said it was the main stumbling block in the progress of these sections. Education, not alcohol, held the key to the progress of these sections. Manjhi revealed that his father was an alcoholic and at the tender age of eleven, he virtually revolted against the bad habits of his father.