Is the Chief Minister playing to the gallery by talking of eradicating corruption?

Dehra Dun : Chief minister Vijay Bahuguna literally let a cat loose amongst the pigeons when at meetings in Hardwar and Roorkee he openly announced that his government would not spare the corrupt leaders of the previous BJP regime and they will have to cool their heels in jail.

Announcing zero tolerance for corruption in Uttarakhand, he said that it would not be tolerated at any cost and all the allegations against leaders of the previous regime, regardless of the positions they held would be probed into and the guilty punished.

However, the ‘aam aadmi’ while appreciating the concern of the chief minister on corruption and that it would not be tolerated at any level, wanted to know whether it would be limited to political vendetta or efforts be made in all seriousness to curb the malaise that has undertaken serious proportions.

The popular feeling is that while the political leaders may be involved to a great extent in the rampant corruption prevalent in the state, but what about the bureaucracy and babudom that seem to be raking in the moolah without the least concern of getting caught. For obviously there is no one who is looking into what they are doing.

A very senior bureaucrat of the state has a large number of plots allotted in his family members name in a prime society located at a posh area, and despite the matter being raked up, he was able to sit on the files and prevent any further probe in the matter. Will the chief minister get the file and probe the matter is what people are asking.

Another senior officer has houses in the posh Rajpur Road and has petrol pumps allotted in his son’s name, despite the fact that he does not belong to the Uttarakhand cadre but has managed to remain posted in the state. The officer and his alleged acts of omission and commission are the talk of the town but no one is willing to probe his reported disproportionate assets.

Even as the ‘aam aadmi’ only hopes, nay prays in all seriousness that the corruption that has become deep rooted is gradually rooted out of the system in the state but they feel that it is only possible if severe action is taken against the corrupt at the top so that the message percolates down to the masses. Or else the chief minister is only playing to the gallery, they feel.

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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