Uttarakhand ditched by every party till date. High hopes on the current...

Uttarakhand ditched by every party till date. High hopes on the current political dispensation

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The recent visit of Prime minister Narendra Modi being the second to Kedarnath, Uttarakhand during the last 6 to 8 months and assuring the people of 17 year old Himayan state all possible central assistence including launching of four new schemes worth several crores for the entire facelift and modernisation of Kedarpuri, the precints around historic Kedarnath temple has been taken in the right spirits by the electorates of Uttarakhand who’d voted the Bhartiya Janata Party with an overwhelmingly historic majority in the elections held seven months ago compelling the ruling Congress bite the dust. The extensive Modi wave and the majoritarian saffron factor played a pivotal role in dethroning the Congress.

This was the first time in the Uttarakhand’s political history that any CM like Harish Rawatj lost from both the constitiencies he contested as MLA, though BJP’s former chief minister Retired Major General BC Khanduri too lost from his Kotdwar seat during the state elections of 2010-11. Prior to Prime minister Modi’s visit to Kedarnath the BJP chief Amit Shah had also visited the state and had given the certificate of good governance to the incumbent CM Trivendra Rawat and so did prime minister Narendra Modi. Trivendra Rawat is in the good books of Amit Shah and is his old crony, primarily a staunch RSSite having worked with Amit Shah in close proximity as the observer of Jharkhand and healthily contributing in the party’s victory in the last year’s state elections.

Trivendra Rawat, though being a less experienced leader got the advantage due to the intercine squabbles amongst the former chief ministers of Uttarakhand viz. Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, Dr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank and Major General Bhuvan Chandra Khanduri, though two of the former CMs have crossed 75 years of age. But Satpal Maharaj who defected from Congress was also a bottleneck as he was also a strong aspirant for the CM’s post. But Amit Shah was interested to crown his yes man and sober, affable and non controvertial n above all a loyalist Trivendra Singh Rawat was the best bet. And Rawat replaced a Rawat.

Anyways, the core issues that favoured the BJP in Uttarakhand to come to power were alleged collaboration of the previous political regime with the liquor mafia, illegal mining on vast scale, the encouragement to the then land, building and transfer mafia, arbitrary sale of large tracts of agricultural or gram sabha lands to private builders and outside corporates to construct highly expensive commercial international institutions, mass scale influx from villages to cities to the tune of over 32 lakh people during the last 17 years, diminishing agricultural farming, over 3000 villages becoming empty with locks hanging in over 1.5 to 2.5 lakh houses of the different villages, closure of over 2000 primary and middle schools, rampant corruption in the funds of Rs 108 crores meant for the welfare and well being of the Kedarnath disaster victims of June 5, 2013 , massive lack of emloyment and health avenues including complete absense of the decentralised socio economic development right up to the district and block level.

About 8 chief ministers during the last 17 years ruled the state but the most emotional issue of Uttarakhand’s capital and appointment of LOKAYUKTA have not been resolved till date whereas the fact remains that only two political parties viz the Congress and the BJP ruled this himalayan state turn by turn. Number of scams came to fore during both the tenures but no body had been indicted or convicted till yet. Thanks to these governments for allegedly coming to each others’ rescue though both are diametrically opposite to each other, ideologically and otherwise.

An example is enough to prove home this point and i.e. in the matter of construction of mega dams in Uttarakhand, both the north and south pole looking parties and their respective governments’ of the centre and the previous Harish Rawat UK state govt. have given similar affidavits favorin them (large dams) in the Himalayan state at the cost of the peoples’ lives and the environmental health of the himalayas. When the BJP government formally took charge of of Uttarakhand with half of the council of ministers comprising of the Congress defectors it was felt that an upside down change in the functioning and delivery would be witnessed and experienced and pivotal issues like employment generation, appointment of Lokayukta, issue of state capital and hitting at the liquor, land and illegal mining mafia would be resolved and dealt with severely with government taking special initiatives to improve the agricultural farming, health and education sectors at the decentralized level by allocating more budget rationally. But instead the political dispensation at the helm seemed to be more interested in arbitrarily promoting liquor sale to the peoples’ door step to generate 2000 crores annually despite massive protests in various nooks and corners of Uttarakhand by the women power, MATRI SHAKTI.

Today the state of Uttarakhand is running a fiscal loss of staggering more than 40 thousand crores running its economy on borrowed money paying hundreds of crores as interests having no credible source of income generation to cover the vast fiscal deficit and run the state on its own. However the BJP CHIEF AMIT SHAH has assured press conference at Dehradun that the BJP LED NDA government raised the central funds in the five year plan and various other heads to the tune of more than ten thousand crores as a special case. However despite all this not much progress has been acknowleged except the over ambitious all weather roads project worth 12000 crores, railway lines to Karnaprayag, facelifting of Kedarpuri and provision of electricity to the remaining villages of Uttarakhand.

Though when would they be completed is still a big question mark? All these schemes are the central plans and require timely release of funds in a time bound manner. These long term projects once notified and passed by the centre need to be completed even if governments change. But it has usually been visualized that in certain cases in view of the change of governments the plans of the earlier governments get stucked depending upon the new government’s will to carry it forward or not. Let’s sincerely wish and hope that all the above projects get completed in record time so as to avoid any risk of their being stuck on the way in view of any unforseen political circumstances. In Uttar Pradesh several projects allegedly got stalled after the change of governments.
SUNIL NEGI

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