Rabri Devi vows revenge
By Dipak Mishra
The Times of India News Service
PATNA: It was Holi and Diwali put together at noon at 1, Anne Marg, the official residence of the Bihar chief minister, on Monday as news of the Union cabinet's decision to revoke President's rule in the state came in. The crowds which had vanished during President's rule, reappeared bursting crackers, smearing one another with gulal and raising pro-Laloo and Rabri slogans.
Deposed chief minister Rabri Devi was jubilant and aggressive. ``Bhandari (governor S.S. Bhandari) should leave Bihar within five minutes bag and baggage,'' she declared while speaking to reporters.
(Mr Bhandari, however, rejected the RJD demand for his resignation. He nevertheless promised to extend full support to the Rabri Devi government.)
Reacting to the spate of transfers effected by the governor, she vowed to retaliate in a similar manner. ``Hum bhi kisi ko chhorenge nahi,'' she asserted while stating that former chief secretary S.N. Biswas and DGP K.A. Jacob had been humiliated by being transferred the very night President's rule was imposed.
She said after the re-installation of her government, she would ``restart the development work'' which had got ``stalled'' during President's rule. ``During President's rule, the BJP and Samata Party leaders have done nothing except transferring officials. There were carnages, loot and killings for which the BJP and Samata Party leaders are responsible,'' she added while noting that the decision to revoke President's rule was welcome since it was done on Women's Day. She promised that ``strong measures'' would be taken to stop mass killings in the state.
Incidentally, the former CM was watching parliamentary proceedings on TV and chatting with a woman journalist when her brother Sadhu Yadav broke the news to her on phone. Before that, her phone continued to ring with RJD leaders making anxious inquiries about any message from `Saheb' (Mr Laloo Prasad Yadav) about the developments in Delhi. ``Keep watching TV,'' she told former Union minister Kanti Singh on phone.
And after the news came in, her former principal secretary Mukund Prasad, who too had been shunted out during President's rule, was among the first to congratulate her. Soon, all roads appeared to lead to 1, Anne Marg. Mr Sadhu Yadav and his followers were among the first to arrive.
A beaming former finance minister Shankar Prasad Tekriwal declared that the first thing the reinstalled RJD government would have to do was to cancel the orders for transfer of officials on Sunday. ``Once the President signs the revocation orders, we will enter our chambers again,'' he announced.
The former CM's other brother, Subhash Yadav, besides some former ministers also arrived with ladoos and garlands. ``During President's rule, many regular visitors to the CM's house had vanished. We must recognise the faces of such people,'' remarked one former minister.