Thursday, August 09, 2007

The mess in Jharkand

Around an year back, the Congress won a major victory in Jharkand when they managed to topple the BJP Government and bring in a Government led by Madhu Koda. Now, Jharkand is not an easy state to manage. It is incredibly rich in resources, but at the same time faces many challenges. Being recently divorced from Bihar, there is the feeling that it will have shared the same Government apathy as was witnessed in Bihar. In addition, the state has a large number of tribals who are not exactly swimming in prosperity (in wretched conditions is more the term), and are a breeding ground for the naxalite movement, like other states nearby.
In such a situation, it is necessary that the Government and the Congress party provide good governance, especially since the Government is held up the Congress, and the Government is actually a UPA Government, just like the UPA Government at the center. So, in order to ensure good Governance in the state, one would have thought that the Congress would keep a special eye on the state; it seems like just the opposite though. Just like it tolerated Lalu's bad governance in Bihar and never raised its voice against it for political reasons, the same thing seems to be happening in Jharkand:

“The lack of ability of the Chief Minister to act on decisions of the ministers and his indifference have held up projects and created restlessness among the people.” The Chief Minister in question is Jharkhand’s Madhu Koda. And the comment is not from an Opposition leader but from one of Koda’s cabinet colleagues, Bandhu Tirkey.
Nothing seems to be moving in Koda’s Jharkhand. Files are stuck and projects are held up while money meant for development is lying unused. Less than a year after it was formed, the UPA coalition government in Jharkhand has developed cracks and the ministers are displaying their restlessness in public.
The mess is not just about development. For the first time in six years, the Auditor General, in an affidavit filed at the Jharkhand High Court last month, indicted the government for not furnishing financial records of more than Rs 40,000 crore. Worse, the state has failed to utilise funds meant for development. For instance, against the plan outlay of Rs 6,500 crore during 2006-07, it spent just Rs 2,714 crore.

This is a disaster in the making, and it seems even worse that such a mineral rich state is suffering because of the ineptitude or carelessness of its Chief Minster. If the Congress does not watch out, the BJP will come right back and dismantle the Government in the next elections, or even earlier. When Ministers in the Government moan the lack of development, one can be sure something is badly amiss. Read the referred article, you will get an idea of how bad things really are.

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posted by Ashish Agarwal @ 11:49 PM