Chief minister Nitish Kumar takes pride in Bihar's turnaround in a short period. "Bihar was a failed state but now Bihar is a success
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story," Nitish told TOI on Monday. He completes four years in office as CM on Tuesday.
Sitting under a canopy at the herbal garden on the eastern flank of his 1 Anne Marg residence amidst the aroma of a large variety of herbal plants like plectranthus amboinicus (ajwain) and sweritia chiratta (chiraita), a relaxed-looking Nitish spent hours giving interviews to the media on Monday.
"Running a state like Bihar is no joke particularly while working for every section of society," he said.
Much before Barack Obama made his famous slogan of "Yes, we can", Nitish had pledged to change the face and character of Bihar which was infamous for crime and corruption. "We did it in a brief period and today at least people are not living under terror," he said.
He said the duration hardly mattered when good work was initiated with commitment. "Sher Shah ruled the country for just over four years but he is still remembered for his good work," Nitish said, adding quickly: "No, no, I am not comparing myself with the emperor who to date is the only Bihari to have ruled the country."
"When I look back I feel astonished and think if it was really possible to do so many things in a state where nothing moved. Bihar watchers are also surprised," Nitish claimed.
He said four years was not a long time keeping in mind the state's backwardness and administrative failures, where "there was neither law nor order", but now a lot of work has been done for the development of infrastructure, human resources, besides special measures for the deprived sections.
"There is no longer any tension in society. People are feeling secure. Festivals are observed in total harmony. I treat this as a big achievement," Nitish said. He continued, "Bihar has changed. This is acknowledged by people like Amartya Sen and Nandan Nilekani."
The CM said he has received the people's mandate for five years and in the remaining one year he would continue aggressively for the state's development and welfare of its people without any discrimination.
"I will seek a second term from the people on the basis of my work and not on hollow claims. It's up to the public to decide. They fully know that Bihar has changed and will change further for the good," Nitish said.