Rohtas: Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh on Saturday attacked the prevalence of 'mukhiya pati' practice in Bihar, saying it is a "shame" on a state which gave a direction to the nation on many democratic initiatives.
    
'Mukhiya pati' refers to a system where the husband of the elected woman panchayat president wields power by proxy.     

"Bihar has given a direction to the nation on many democratic initiatives. We don't want such a direction to follow, it will kill the panchayati raj," he said addressing villagers in Naxal-affected Rohtas district.
    
The minister's remark came as he visited a village affected by the Naxal menace where he noticed the absence of elected women mukhiya.
    
He was greeted by the mukhiya pati (husband of the mukhiya) "who looks like a Bollywood star", he said. "It is a shame," Ramesh said and asked the district officials not to encourage them.
    
His visit to the district came after CRPF Director General K Vijay Kumar apprised him about the law and order situation in the district, which he said has improved following joint operation by state security forces and CRPF.
    
Ramesh said it is time to push development in the tri-junction area where the Maoist menace is under control.
    
He said the government is planning to implement the Saranda development model in the areas which has been freed from the Naxal problem.
    
"If we are not able to push development in the cleared area, it will invite the Maoist problem again," he said.

(Agencies)

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