Ranchi: Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP), which boasts of good governance is openly opposing an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officer, nicknamed as Lady Singham by the people of Giridih for having raided a restaurant that was illegally serving liquor to its customers.
Vijaya Jadhav, a 2015 batch IAS officer, posted as Sub-divisional Magistrate (SDM) in Giridih, also the Chief Executive Officer (CEO)-in-charge of Giridih Municipal Corporation (GMC) had raided a restaurant, Zayeka, on Thursday night and seized all the liquors and the restaurant.
BJP plays the character assassination card
Those present at the alleged meeting included local political stalwarts like BJP MLA Nirbhay Shahabadi, Mayor Sunil Paswan, Deputy Mayor Prakash Seth and seventeen ward councilors. As the information of the raid by Jadhav spread out, most ward councilors flew from there. Only Mayor faced Jhadav, and maintained that an important meeting was in progress when the lady IAS officer had conducted the raid.
However, Jadhav was not convinced with the excuse and stated, “Why were they meeting in a restaurant in night when there are air-conditioned rooms in GMC?”
Watch the raid on illegal bar and Giridih Mayor’s face off with IAS Vijaya Jadhav
Not happy with the raid, BJP’s Jamua MLA Kedar Hazra, Gandey’s Jai Prakash Verma, Shahbadi along with the Mayor and deputy mayor, called a press conference, where Mayor Paswan attacked the officer by alleging, “This is an attempt to assassinate my character. We were doing Baithak issue concerning the Municipal Corporation itself. But because I had raised some toll tax related issue with the CEO recently, so the raid was conducted. We shall report against Jadhav to the Chief Minister,” said Paswan.
While Kedar Hazra, MLA from Jamua assembly segment, said, “She (Vijaya Jadhav) is trying to create anarchy, which we will not allow to happen.”
Jadhav, since taking charge of Giridih, in October, 2017, has conducted several raids to stall illegal activities being practiced in the city. Right from curbing the sale of adulterated spices to stocking firecracker illegally to tackling the sand mafia to conducting raids on alleged cow slaughter houses. The frequent raids and her zero tolerance for corruption made her earn the name – Lady Singham.
Jadhav, the public hero
“She has been able to rein control on the plastic menace. Now 80 percent of Giridih market is plastic free,” claimed a GMC official, on the condition of anonymity.
The common man is now a fan of hers. “She has conducted some of the biggest raids in the history of Giridih. Her swift action has definitely helped in curbing the crimes committed in Giridih,” stated Somnath, a lecturer and social activist.
Giridih Municipal Corporation, which came into formal existence, earlier this year, has witnessed a record tax collection of over 10 crore rupees during Jadhav’s five month tenure as its CEO.
Reacting to the news of BJP leader’s presence at an illegal bar, Congress has demanded MLA Shahabadi, Mayor Paswan and Deputy Mayor Seth to resign from their posts for allegedly boozing in an illegal bar.
“The people of Giridih have not voted them to enjoy at our expense. Here people are not getting drinking water and they are organizing high profile parties in illegal bars,” said Sarfaraz Ahmed, former Giridih MP and minister.
Jharkhand Mukhti Morcha (JMM) too has demanded their resignation. While, CPI-ML leader Rajesh Sinha has asked people to hit the street to protest against BJP’s demand to transfer Jadhav.
“What ruling BJP leaders couldn’t do, she has done. She is so connected with the masses. If she is transferred, we will take on to the streets and protest against the decision,” warned Promila Mehra, a JMM leader, who also sat on dharna to ban liquor in Jharkhand on Saturday.
From the horse’s mouth
However, when Jhadav was contacted to comment on the allegations being made, she told eNewsroom, “We simply raided an illegal bar, about which the locals had been making complains since long. I was informed on Thursday that a high profile party was on. The restaurant is also on sensitive area as working woman crosses there in late evening. I was also clueless as who were attending the party.”
She then added, “During the raid, we simply confiscated the liquor being served. I didn’t even check if those partying were drunk, as my I was not doing moral policing. A bar license gives Rs 7500 revenue each day to government, so I had to curb illegal bars. It is just that Mayor and others found at the wrong place, and at wrong time.”