BJP and Cong have no election manifesto in Uttarakhand

Dehradun : The suspense over the allocation of tickets by the two major political parties, the BJP and the Congress is finally over. And except for some dissidents and disappointed ticket seekers hoping otherwise, it is more or decided as to who will be contesting from where .

But for the nascent state of Uttarakhand, which was carved out of Uttar Pradesh just about 11 years back, it is a matter of from the frying pan into the fire. Not only has development taken a back seat in the state for the last 11 years, but this is going to be an election where the two major political players for the state’s future have not spelt out to the people what they intend doing should they be voted to power.

Unimaginable it may feel, but the fact is that neither has the BJP, nor for that matter the Congress party declared or made public its election manifesto for the 2012 vidhan sabha elections scheduled to be held on Jan 30. And to make matters worse, neither of the two parties have made it clear whether at all they have an election manifesto and if they have one, when will it be made public.

Normally the major political parties come out with their election manifestoes, well in advance and lay before the public what the party intends doing for the development of the state and its people, should it be voted to power. It is generally felt that the election manifesto is the main basis on which the people vote the party to power.

But in Uttarakhand this time, the state party leaders, both of the Congress and the BJP have been so busy seeking tickets for themselves and their supporters that not time was given to the major issue of making an election manifesto and bringing it out to the public. The major issue before the state leaders was to ensure the maximum tickets for their supporters so that if the party comes to power in the state, they have chances of becoming the chief minister.

What more could be the bane of this mountain state and the people who have been fighting all odds for the 11 years that they separated from Uttar Pradesh. While the majority rue the fact that they participated in the struggle for a separate state, as they were perhaps better off in Uttar Pradesh, others have lost hopes of any improvement in the years to come, given the present day leadership of both the parties.

The villages are crying for basic amenities like potable water, health and education facilities, electricity and road networks not to mention employment opportunities or ways to improve their financial conditions. In the absence of all this there is a steady migration from the villages to the towns, which was ebident in the latest census that took place.

Most of the villages have hardly any male population that can work in the fields as they have gone out in search of greener pastures for a livelihood. Ferule fields have been rendered barren as villages wear a desolated look. And thanks to the present band of crafty politicians with no future vision for the state or its people, Uttarakhand will only go from bad to worse and corruption become more rampant.

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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