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New Bihar CM has big shoes to slip into, says Giridhar Jha

first_imgIt is always a tough task to follow in the footsteps of an illustrious predecessor. Bihar’s new Chief minister Jitan Ram Manjhi should know it well, as he finds himself in an unenviable position after taking over the reins from none other than Nitish Kumar. Nitish, who resigned after the disastrous performance of the JD(U) the recent Lok Sabha elections, had raised the bar of good governance by bringing Bihar back on the tracks of development during his eightand-a-half-year rule. From facilitating economic growth of an underdeveloped state, restoring law and order and tackling the scourge of corruption with an iron hand, his regime was marked for quick decisions and out-of-the-box solutions to many a long-standing problem.Jitan Ram Manjhi has been a sixterm MLA who has outshone his colleagues with his performance.For the first time in Bihar, development became a byword in the corridors of power during his tenure which prompted his admirers to hail him as the best administrator since Sri Krishna Sinha, the first and the longest-serving chief minister in the state.His political decision, especially the one to snap his party’s ties with the BJP against the rising stature of Modi, may have been questioned but no one could take away the credit from him that he served, to the best of his ability, to work for the inclusive growth of Bihar all through his stint.Nitish’s government was applauded for giving 50 per cent reservation to women in the three-tier panchayati raj institutions, setting up of speedy trials for disposal of long-pending and high-profile criminal cases and confiscating assets of corrupt public servants, including IAS and IPS officers.That is why his sudden exit created a vacuum of sorts. Most people, including former deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi, felt that Manjhi, the new Chief Minister, would not be able to step into the big shoes of Nitish and end up as a dummy candidate to be remote controlled by his predecessor .This was, however, grossly unfair to Manjhi. A six-term MLA who was made minister in the Jagannath Mishra cabinet way back in the early 1980s, he has been a campaigner who had diligently worked his way to the top with making any noises over the years. Even his performance as the minister for SC/ST welfare in the Nitish government was better than most of his ministerial colleagues. This probably explains why no murmurs were heard within the JD(U) when he was handpicked by Nitish. It was Manjhi’s long experience – in addition to the fact that he belonged to the poorest of the poor Mushhar community of the mahadalits – that worked in his favour and minimised the possibility of any rebellion. Manjhi will now have to prove to his detractors that he is not merely a “rubber stamp.”His task is to carry forward the development agenda of Nitish but he is also expected to take his own independent decisions.Poor girls gettop spots in schoolsIi is not unusual for girls to outperform the boys in the school examinations these days. But in Bihar, they are grabbing the lion’s share of the top spots. In the Class XII Intermediate (Arts) examination conducted by the Bihar School Examination Board, out of the 20 students who got the top positions, 16 of them happened to be girls. What is significant about their achievement is the fact that all of them belonged to the interiors of the state. There were five girls from Madhubani district alone, three from Muzaffarpur, two each from Araria and Saharsa districts but none of them hailed from Patna.This year’s topper Huma Khatoon was a student of Purnia Secondary School while the second and third toppers were Kumari Priyanka from Siwan and Nidhi Kumari from Rosera in Samastipur district. Huma is the first girl from her family to have pursued her education beyond class X. The overall performance of the girls was also far better than the boys. While only 38.75 per cent boys could pass the examinations, 62.24 per cent girls achieved success. Still, the performance of the girls was not better than the last year. In 2013, altogether 19 girls were among the top 20 students. Girls’ education received a tremendous boost during the tenure of Nitish Kumar who offered girl students sops such as free bicycles to check the dropout rate in the state.Bihar kids enter record booksBihar’s kids have something to cheer about. The children of Kilkari Bihar Bal Bhavan have made it to the Limca Book of Records this year for their commendable feat. In December 2012, altogether 7,475 students in the age group of 9-16 had taken part in the Bal Olympiad (Children’s Olympiad) at the Moinul Haq Stadium in Patna. This turned out to be the largest children’s sports event in the country and earned it an entry into the record book.Patna Sahib mahotsav relocatedThe tourism department of the Bihar government has started organising the Patna Sahib Mahotsav on a grand scale at the birthplace of Guru Gobind Singh, seven years ago. Every year, it invites popular singers and other performers to regale the crowds at the festival held near the famous Harmandir Sahib shrine. This year, too, the two-day musical extravaganza saw singer Jasbir Jassi and the dance troupe of Aditi Mangal Das holding the audience in thrall. But the kicked off a controversy due to change in its venue. For the first time since its inception, the Patna Sahib Mahotsav was held at S K Memorial Hall, far away from the holy shrine. The change in venue had angered residents living near the shrine.last_img read more

Lucas Torreira caps Arsenal’s comeback in 4-2 derby win over 10-man Spurs

first_img 5 Papastathopoulos 16 Holding 8 Winks Read more Facebook 14 Aubameyang Substitutes 16 Walker-Peters Share on Messenger Pinterest 24 Aurier There was controversy when Spurs went ahead. Son had sprinted through again and Rob Holding jumped into a risky tackle but, when Son checked back, there was no contact from the Arsenal defender on him. Mike Dean still awarded the penalty and, after further arguments between rival players, Kane converted for his eighth goal in eight games against Arsenal. He has equalled Emmanuel Adebayor’s scoring record in north London derbies.Mustafi hit the crossbar with a looping header in first-half stoppage time but Spurs were in the ascendancy and Emery made his double substitution at the interval. Arsenal were level soon enough. Bellerín curved a ball in behind Vertonghen and Ramsey twisted to hook it inside for Aubameyang. The striker bent a precision first-time finish inside the near post.Amid the bedlam it was easy to forget the sub-plot of Mesut Özil’s absence. Arsenal said that the playmaker had felt another of his back spasms but there was nevertheless plenty of eye-rolling when the teamsheets landed. It was easy to wonder whether Özil would have worked in Emery’s starting 3-4-2-1 formation. 1 Cech Spurs Spurs face FA inquiry after fan throws banana skin at Arsenal’s Aubameyang match reports Match stats 4 Alderweireld Fouls 34 Xhaka 16 Arsenal Off target 5 Spurs 5 Arsenal On target 5 Spurs Read more Share on Facebook 8 5 27 Lucas Moura 20 Alli The Fiver: sign up and get our daily football email. It felt as though Arsenal might struggle to maintain the intensity and Spurs roared back into the game, turning it on its head before half-time. Alli had started off the left but he regularly tucked in behind Harry Kane and Son Heung-min and the visitors gained a foothold. Son showed his pace and threat with a series of darts, two of which saw him test Bernd Leno from tight angles.The equaliser came from a Christian Eriksen free-kick, whipped in towards the near post, and it was a horror moment for Leno as he allowed Dier’s flick header to bounce, rear up above his hands and squirm inside the near post. 20 Mustafi Corners Lineups 19 Leno Share on LinkedIn Spurs flickered at the start of the second half, with Kane twice going close, but Arsenal – and Emery – turned the screw after the equaliser. Mustafi was denied by a goalline clearance by Alli and, after Son had tested Leno following a Bellerín error, Emery swapped Mustafi for Guendouzi and went to the midfield diamond.Ramsey initiated Arsenal’s third goal when he robbed the dawdling Foyth and found Lacazette. There was fortune because the striker was slipping as he shot – there was also the deflection off Dier – and the best day of Arsenal’s season was complete when Torreira rolled away from Dier on to Aubameyang’s pass and shot into the corner. Arsenal extended their remarkable unbeaten run in all competitions to 19 matches but now they have their statement victory. Unai Emery and his re-energerised team have built momentum and belief during the sequence, although they had not been able to beat a Big Six Premier League rival.That changed on a wild afternoon in north London when Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang continued his dead-eyed scoring exploits and Arsenal fought back from 2-1 down to register yet another come-from-behind win. 41 59 (s 46′) TOT41ARS59% Aubameyang got the equaliser for 2-2 – his second of the game – and he has now scored with his last 10 shots on target in the league. It was the substitute, Alexandre Lacazette, who put Arsenal in front with a shot that deflected off Eric Dier after a lapse from Juan Foyth and the outstanding Lucas Torreira added the gloss with his first goal in Arsenal colours.Tottenham’s frustration was complete when Jan Vertonghen jumped into a rash challenge on Lacazette to earn a second yellow card on 85 minutes. They will reflect on how they had stabilised after Aubameyang’s early penalty only to be overrun towards the end. Mauricio Pochettino mentioned fatigue as a factor, in the wake of his team’s Champions League exertions against Internazionale last Wednesday. After six straight wins in all competitions this was a jolt.Emery deserved credit for how he reacted at 2-1 down, making bold attacking changes, the first of which saw Aaron Ramsey and a second striker, Lacazette, come on for the second half. At 2-2 Emery moved to a 4-4-2 diamond midfield system and, on each occasion, the dividends were immediate.It was a rip-roaring derby, in which tempers were never far from boiling point and the atmosphere pulsed from the first whistle. Things spilled over after Dier had equalised for 1-1 when some of the Arsenal substitutes took exception to the Tottenham midfielder’s celebrations with his teammates. Stephan Lichtsteiner appeared to tap Dier and, as projectiles were thrown from the stand, players in red and white came together in a mass confrontation.Ramsey, who was then off the field, had to be pulled apart from Dele Alli while another Arsenal substitute, Mattéo Guendouzi, rowed with Jesús Pérez, the Spurs assistant manager. There was plenty of pushing and shoving. Pochettino had run up the touchline to act as a peacemaker.Arsenal started at breakneck pace and the touchpaper was lit when Aubameyang opened the scoring from the penalty spot and celebrated in front of the away supporters, who pelted him with missiles, including – most regrettably – a banana skin. The penalty was awarded when Vertonghen touched Granit Xhaka’s free-kick away from Shkodran Mustafi with his hand. Vertonghen was booked for the offence.Arsenal were irrepressible in the opening 20 minutes, with Sead Kolasinac, in particular, making inroads from left wing-back. He cut one cross back for Alex Iwobi, who forced Hugo Lloris into a smart save with his legs. Moments later the other wing-back, Héctor Bellerín, saw a volley at the far post blocked by Ben Davies. Tottenham Hotspur Possession 17 Iwobi 11 Torreira Share on Twitter 4 Elneny 23 Eriksen (s 71′) 1 Lloris (s 79′) 12 Lichtsteiner 13 16 8 Ramsey 21 Foyth 5 Vertonghen 3 Rose Goal attempts Premier League Arsenal (s 46′) 7 Son 22 Gazzaniga Substitutes Twitter 15 Maitland-Niles (s 82′) 33 Davies 31 Kolasinac Alexandre Lacazette fires home Arsenal’s third. Photograph: Tom Jenkins/The Guardian 29 Guendouzi Arsenal’s Aubameyang seizes moment with all-action display against Spurs TOT ARS (s 79′) 2 Bellerin Share on Pinterest 15 Dier Share on WhatsApp 7 Mkhitaryan Topics 9 Lacazette Share via Email 10 Kane 17 Sissoko Arsenal 18 Llorente Reuse this contentlast_img read more