Dehradun : With no political leader of vision and parties only keen to come to power in the state and fill the coffers of corrupt bureaucrats, babus and politicians, the people of Uttarakhand feel cheated yet once again. For neither the Congress which is in the opposition, nor for that matter the ruling BJP has spelled out any plans that they have for the development of Uttarakhand in the next five years.
In the absence of election manifestoes of both the BJP and the Congress for the Jan 30 vidhan sabha elections, issues will automatically take a back seat. Though candidates of both the parties may harp one the reported development works that the Congress of BJP governments may have done in the past or intend doing in the future, they are neither mentioned in black and white nor endorsed by the party leadership.
Obviously in such circumstances the voter has little or no choice and perhaps this will be the first election after this mountain state came into being in 2000 that the electorate will have to choose either on the basis of the past performance of the BJP and Congress governments, or on the popularity and dedication of the candidates from their assembly segments.
As there are no issues that either the Congress of BJP have taken up as far as the development of the state as a unit or the future of its people is concerned the past performance of the party governments could be a barometer. Tragically, neither the N D Tiwari government of the Congress, nor the BJP governments, under either Nitya Nand Swami, Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Ramesh Pokhriyal or B C Khanduri have anything to showcase as milestones that they may have achieved.
It was perhaps because of this that the BJP denied tickets to two of its ministers in the present government, besides another dozen sitting MLAs, so that they could shake off the incumbency factor and put up new faces to woo the voters. How far will this gimmick go as far as the electorate is concerned, only time will tell, but there is not much that the BJP can say as far as delivering goods to the masses is concerned.
Ironically the ghost of skeletons in the cupboards haunts both the BJP and the Congress as corruption was not only rampant during the tenure of Ramesh Pokhriyal as BJP chief minister, but also when Narain Dutt Tewari headed the Congress government in the state.
With potable water, health and education facilities, road connectivity, basic infrastructure, transparency in government functioning, accountability of government staff and rampant corruption yet to be tackled at the political level and no party taking up these issues at the highest level, or the people of this small mountain state, it will be yet another five years of neglect at various levels.