Sucheta Dalal :Kingdom of Bihar: 2
Sucheta Dalal

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Kingdom of Bihar: 2  

February 20, 2005

February 15,2005

There are good things too…

Dear Varun,

Let us continue the discussion on Bihar and try to create an awareness among fellow Indians so that the so called leaders are forced to act to correct the
situation.

I found a whole lot of good things in Bihar. For example:  green and rich agriculture fields. They yield so much with no irrigation facility! If only we can provide irrigation facility, we can make Bihar richer. And there is a great water source which Bihar has been wasting away every year calling it Flood. It is not
flood. It is a rich source of water.

According to the information I get here, East Champaran district gets flood water from Nepal every year. The flood creates so much of distress.

I compared it with Tamil Nadu. TN is water starved. Every bit of water is saved in non-delta area. Only in Cauvery delta area the surplus water during Monsoon is drained in Ocean. One can see large number of water structures in TN. They are called ERI, meaning tank. These tanks, small, medium and huge in size are
maintained by PWD. They irrigate thousands of acres of lands. And livelihood for thousands of families. No threat of flood!

I found no such tanks in Bihar villages. Only Motihari town has one.

The flood water from Nepal is indeed a boon. All it needs is to plan and construct a series of irrigation tanks with Nepal providing the supply.
And floods in Bihar would become a history!

Will the leaders look at it? There are experts in the country who can provide the
plan in no time.
 
Umashankar

 

From an election Observer’s diary-II

From East Champaran District, February 20, 2005:

In my earlier postings I mentioned that because of the effectiveness of the two young officers at the district level, the Election Observers are able to carry out qualitative work. Let me elaborate on this.

The enforcement of model code of conduct is the toughest thing in elections to implement. The Observers have to do a running battle with the district administration yet with limited success. One has to resort to warnings to get the ECI’s rules enforced. The two areas where the district administration usually is slack are 1) pasting of posters/banners in Government/local body installations
such as public buildings, across the road, road margins etc. and 2) booking vehicles used for electioneering without any permit from the Returning
Officer.

Gujarat was clean. They followed the rules. All political parties fully cooperated.
In MP, the Observers had to administer warnings and then enforce the model code of conduct themselves by catching the unauthorised campaign vehicles
themselves. In fact, use of any vehicle for campaigning without the permit from the Returning Officer or his/her authorised officer is an offence, which is punishable under Sec.171H.


In Punjab, the officials expressed surprise when this was pointed out. Finally they read the instructions and found out whatever the Observers were telling were true. Punjab is a great example where the officials don’t read instructions. They asked for rules every time something was pointed out to them. So, the
Observers were always ready with the ECI’s instructions and the Returning Officer’s manual. Odd experience indeed.


The officials were afraid of the ruling party functionaries too. This happens everywhere. It is the prime role of the Observer to ensure that the district
officials treat everyone equally. That means the violators among the ruling party also should be equally booked.

During the briefing session, it was pointed out that the election officials take certain instructions casually and there is no action from the Commission.
It was also pointed out that such indiscipline also leaves a bitter experience on the Observers who want to carry out the Observer job in letter and spirit.
Prompt came the reply from the top ECI official, “You will see this time!”
And we have already seen that two district collectors and SPs were transferred out. Timely action like this one increases the ECI’s effectiveness manifold.

Coming to the two young officers serving in East Champaran district, we brought to their notice about the unauthorized vehicle violation. Prompt came the action. The next day 27 vehicles were seized. After that all the Election Observers have been witnessing total obedience to the ECI’s rules. All political parties, including the ruling party display their permits in Original prominently on the windscreen of the campaign vehicle. (There is hardly any government building on which these guys can paste posters etc. So, that problem does not exist in Bihar).  This obedience level is seen among the candidate who have
two page full of criminal cases, including murder, dacoity etc.
It goes on to prove that enforcement is the key to India’s development.
If the political leaders and all their followers could be disciplined in one day, what cannot be done?
There is hope for more!

Umashankar

 

Tuesday, February 22: From an Election Observer’s diary – 3:

Criminals in politics – a face to face experience.

 

I have two illustrious candidates from recognised political parties in my Constituency (Dhaka – East Champaran) who have a lengthy background in criminal activities. Let us see the cases against them below:

 

Mr.Bhai Pawan Jaiswal – Samajwadi Party

 

1.    Case No.4/95 u/s 251B(A) – Arms Act and ¾ Explosives Act.

2.    Case No.1/99 u/s 364/324/307 of IPC and Sec, 27 of Arms Act

3.    Case No.43/94 u/s 147,148,149,323,324,307,353 of IPC & Sec. 27 of Arms Act.

4.    Case No.45/94 u/s 302 (murder), 120b, 34 IPC

5.    Case No.16/2000 u/s 147,148,149,448,307,406,504,120,34 IPC

6.    Case No.90/04 u/s 384 IPC

7.    Case No.37/92 u/s 395 IPC

8.    Case No. 104/93 u/s 341,323,379,307 IPC and 27 of Arms Act.

9.    Case No.9/94 u/s 197, 148, 149, 323, 337, 339 and 353 IPC

10.  Case No.5/04 u/s 323,324,147,148 of IPC

11.  Case No. 8/97 u/s 279,337,427 IPC

 

Mr.Awanish Kumar Singh, BJP

1.  Case No.5/89 u/s 302 (murder), 307,324,449,380,34/120b IPC and Sec.26 of Arms Act.

2.  Case No.12/93 u/s 147,353,323,337 and 427 IPC

3.  Case No.40/04 u/s 341,323,34 IPC and Sec.27 of Arms Act.

4.  Case No.122/04 u/s147, 148,149,353,332,386,224,225,212,216 (A) and 506 IPC.

 

No wonder we got the first bomb blast in a place called Patahi. The bomb went off when the miscreants were making bombs. It was the RJD candidate’s brother’s house! We could not get to see the dead or injured persons! Regards.

 


-- Sucheta Dalal



 



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