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Manjhi ‘justifies’ Naxal levy from contractors if work quality poor

Manjhi said he had been misunderstood on many occasions but added that he would continue to speak his mind and follow his heart.

 Jeetan Ram Manjhi Jeetan Ram Manjhi

Bihar Chief Minister Jeetan Ram Manjhi on Sunday stirred up a fresh controversy by saying that Naxals are “not wrong in demanding levy from contractors if quality of work is poor”.

Addressing a gathering at Tarapur in Munger district, Manjhi recounted his interaction with three rebels (before he became CM) in which he asked them why they demand levy and derail development works. “What I gathered from the conversation is that most contractors deliver work of very poor quality against a high payment. If a contractor is given Rs 50,000 and he spends only Rs 5,000, what is wrong in ultras demanding levy from them, “ said Manjhi.

He said the government had now introduced reservation in awarding contracts to make the process democratic and to ensure that the contracts don’t go to a handful of people. “Those who have taken wrong paths (rebels) will now get some work and leave those paths,” said the CM. However, he did not clarify if Naxals facing criminal cases can be awarded government contracts.

Manjhi said he had been misunderstood on many occasions but added that he would continue to speak his mind and follow his heart.

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First published on: 05-01-2015 at 12:57:59 am
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