Jharkhand MLA sits in pool of muddy water to protest against ‘poor’ condition of road

A Congress MLA in Jharkhand grabbed eyeballs on Wednesday by sitting in a pool of muddy water on a stretch of National Highway-133 in Godda district as a mark of protest against the road’s poor condition.

Mahagama legislator Deepika Pandey Singh, who staged the protest at Pirozpur Chowk on the Meherma-Barahat stretch, also poured muddy water all over her, and vowed that she will not budge unless the road is repaired.

In a video, she can be heard saying: “NH banwaane ka kaam Dubey-ji (Godda MP Nishikant Dubey) ka hona chahiye. Jab tak kaam shuru nahi hoga uthenge nahi. (Repair of the NH should be the responsibility of Godda MP Nishikant Dubey. I won’t leave until the work starts).”

As soon as she posted her views on Twitter, a political slugfest started with MP Dubey claiming that the MLA was protesting against Chief Minister Hemant Soren as the maintenance of the National Highway is state government’s job. “The Central government gave Rs 75 crore for maintenance six months ago,” he said, adding the Centre should take a “legal action” against the state.

However, sources in the government said the state has no role in the maintenance of this part of the highway. The 131-km highway starts from Pirpainti in Bihar and ends at Chaupa Mod in Deoghar, Jharkhand.

Chief Engineer of the National Highways wing of the Jharkhand’s Road Constructions Department Wahid Kamar Faridi issued a letter on Wednesday that stated: “…The Jharkhand government has not got allocation from the central government for maintenance.” The letter also said that the potholes on road are temporarily being filled with state’s funds.

Dipika Singh took to Twitter again and tore into Dubey, citing the letter. “You (Nishikant Dubey) should be ashamed of yourself. You are just playing the blame game as per your habit. An attempt has to be made to find a solution. You should respect the people who placed a crown on your head… The Centre [govt] is yours, then why is the condition of the road like this.”

When contacted, Dubey said the MLA’s choice of words was against the dignity of the post.

Officials of the National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) could not be reached for a comment.

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