BJP flogs a dead horse in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun : Even as BJP bigwigs, including party national president Gadkari and Uttarakhand incharge Rajnath Singh will be address public meetings at the Parade Ground today to set the ball rolling for the forthcoming vidhan sabha elections scheduled for February next year, it is going to be an unexpectedly huge uphill task for the party.

Caught between allegations of a large number of scams under the tenure of previous chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, that became subjects of household conversations and groupism within the party, the BJP national leadership is trying desperately to get rid of both.

It is perhaps with this in mind that it has started its election campaign rather early, in a desperate bid to gain time to resolve both the issues.

While the party may have tried to encash on the somewhat clean image that chief minister B C Khanduri enjoyed during his stint at the centre as the union surface transport minister, but his last term as head of the Uttarakhand government was riddled with question marks.

Though he is trying desperately to portray a clean image of his government, but his entire cabinet includes all the ministers of his predecessor, and as such there are not many takers of corruption being eradicated.

In fact as far as the ‘aam aadmi’ or the man on the street is concerned there has been no visible change in the functioning of the government.

Problems are where they were with the bureaucracy or the ministers least concerned in trying to resolve them.

It has been over three weeks that Khanduri took over as chief minister, but the problems of getting new ration cards, which started about three months back, still continues, with the cards still being out of stock.

Though there has been a shift of senior IAS officers with the traditional musical chairs having been played to send the message that there has been an overhaul in the government machinery, the fact of the situation remains that there is no temperamental or attitudinal change in the ‘babudom’.

Senior IAS officers continue to remain unavailable to attend or listen to the woes of the common man.

With neither any visible change for the better in the functioning of the state government nor any reprieve for the man on the street as far as his woes are concerned, and governance being at its worst at all levels, the BJP national and state leaders will only be flogging a dead horse by asking for votes in Uttarakhand.

It would be better if Khanduri and his ilk concentrate on improving the ground conditions of governance and thereby percolates the message that it is working to uplift the prevailing miserable conditions, which would help in creating some sort of good will for the party.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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