Friday, August 31, 2007

Kanyadaan scheme within a week--Nitish

Thousands of poor women thronged CM Nitish Kumar’s Janata Durbar at 1, Anne Marg, on Monday. They carried applications seeking monetary help for marriage of their daughters. In fact, this category of women far outnumbered all others who came to the CM with their problems.

With about 70 per cent of the women at the durbar seeking financial help for their daughters’ wedding, a surprised Nitish told , "We will work out the Kanyadaan scheme within a week."

"The applications received here will be verified and if they deserve the benefit, they will get it," said Nitish. But he said the scheme should not have been given publicity prior to its formulation.

He said, "Once this scheme is formally announced, the women need not apply here. A separate mechanism will be developed to handle it." Nitish turned to his special secretary, Chanchal Kumar, and directed him to work on the scheme "despite your engagement in flood relief and other pressing work."

Officials, however, feel the arrival of hordes of women seeking monetary benefit for their daughter’s marriage is politically motivated. They have all come from a particular assembly constituency — Phulwari. The officials are of the view that the Opposition RJD is trying to take political mileage by embarrassing the government. A section of officials said jeeps ferried these women to 1 Anne Marg. "All of them had either photocopies of electronic type-written application or just typed on manual typewriter," said one of the officials.

With all chairs in the sprawling hall occupied, they squatted on the ground. Veena Devi from Anisabad said, "I heard that sarkar will give money for marriage of daughter so I am here."

Rita Devi of Sheikhpura said, "A local neta told us about the scheme and asked us to attend the durbar." Bhagwati Devi said she paid Rs five to get a printed application.

The CM agreed that due to the crowd of kanyadaan benefit seekers, the people coming to seek help on other issues might suffer. "I am now more attentive going through their papers. A little diversion and an important matter may slip," he said.

When it was pointed out that women seeking financial help for marriage of their daughters were politically sponsored, he asked the intelligence officials to look into it. "If it is so, they cannot browbeat me," he said.

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