Budget session of Bihar legislature commences with guv address

The governor, who took charge earlier this month, addressed the joint session of both Houses of the state legislature on the budget session's inaugural day
Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar
Bihar Governor Rajendra ArlekarPTI

PATNA: Bihar Governor Rajendra Arlekar on Monday underscored the Nitish Kumar government's commitment to ''good governance'' (sushasan) and ''development along with justice'' (nyay ke saath vikas), besides listing its achievements in various sectors.

The governor, who took charge earlier this month, addressed the joint session of both Houses of the state legislature on the budget session's inaugural day.

He also appreciated measures like ''dial 112 for emergency assistance within 15-20 minutes'', highlighting that 400 dedicated vehicles have been deployed for the purpose so far.

''In the light of the state's rising population, 75,543 additional posts have been created in the police force.

In an unprecedented move, appointment letters were issued to 10,459 police recruits at a function organised by the state government at the Raj Bhavan,'' said the governor.

He also noted that as part of crackdown on those involved in violation of the stringent prohibition law in the state, ''2,611 people from outside the state, including 115 big liquor traders, were arrested in 2022.

Poor people from the state who were involved in liquor business are being incentivised to give up the occupation. They are being provided alternative modes of employment''.

However, the claims were rubbished by Leader of the Opposition Vijay Kumar Sinha, who told reporters after the governor's address that ''law and order has collapsed in the state ever since the BJP lost power and the Mahagathbandhan took over. Ban on liquor has been a sham''.

''Bootleggers are moving around with impunity, which hints at collusion of those in the ruling alliance,'' Sinha stated.

The governor's speech went, largely, interrupted, though when he began to list the state government's achievements in the fields of education, some opposition leaders began shouting that many schools in Bihar did not have basic infrastructure like buildings.

This led to taunts from the treasury benches with shouts of ''chup raho Adani'' rending the air, though the unruly legislators relented when the governor gesticulated towards them that order be maintained.

Arlekar also spoke of the government's policy of ''zero tolerance for corruption'', citing the vigilance department having registered ''85 cases, including 52 instances of an official getting caught red-handed and 29 of assets disproportionate to known sources of income''.

The governor, who also touched upon measures taken in the direction of health and environment conservation, concluded his speech with a mention of the ''caste survey'' (jaatigat ganana) ordered by the state government in June last year.

The step was taken by the government after the Narendra Modi government at the Centre had expressed its reluctance to undertake headcount of castes other than SCs and STs as part of the census.

The governor said data collected as part of the survey would give a clear idea of ''social, economic and educational status'' of different social groups and help devise schemes for targeted development of all segments, including ''those residing outside the state (pravasi).''

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