Dehra Dun : With independents and candidates of various parties filing their nomination papers, electioneering has picked up in Uttarakhand, though untimely rains and snow at this time of the year are hampering the campaigning.
But what has disillusioned the electorate by and large is the fact that the sensitive issues have failed to figure on the forefront of the various political parties.
Though AAP has raised the issue of Gairsain being made the capital of the state in its manifesto for this small hill state, none of the other parties, including the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, which had struggled for statehood and promised to make Gairsain the capital of the new state, have mentioned it.
It is another issue that during the vidhan sabha elections, the matter is raised by all and sundry to woo the electorate of the upper reaches.
The people by and large feel that what Uttarakhand needs, like the entire country for that matter, is efficient administration and good governance.
Then there are the burning issues of tackling the rampant corruption, mass migration from the villages to the plains and job opportunities for the youth. It is an irony that while political leaders of all hues express concern on villages getting empty, no party has tried to talk in terms of measures to contain the problem.
Then there is corruption, which is eating into the very vitals of this small hill state. The extent of corruption can be gauged from the fact that a former chief secretary of Uttarakhand, S K Das while talking to the media to express his support for AAP did not mince words to say that corruption is rampant and on the rise in the state.
Though he did not spell out what measures did he adopt or make efforts to adopt to contain or take the issue head on when he was chief secretary of the state, but he went on record to say that the level of corruption was not as high and as rampant as it is today. “The graph of corruption has been moving steadily up every year during the about 14 years existence of this small hill state”, he added.
Popular opinion is that if there is efficient administration and good governance, most of the ills prevailing in Uttarakhand will subside generally.
The moot question is whether the politicians who come to power in Uttarakhand will have the political will to ensure that the babus, who seem to be having their free will, respond to good governance and efficient administration.
All the political parties, including AAP, are quiet on the issues concerning the common man, Even matters pertaining to improving the basic infrastructure and providing potable water in the villages of the hills do not figure. In fact issues have taken a back seat, as candidates are hoping to win on the popularity of the parties at various levels.