It is not to suggest that Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has failed in being different from his immediate predecessor Bhupinder Singh Hooda in giving good governance, but certainly to convey the fact that the current BJP regime has begun losing the initial aura attached with the new dispensation. It is fast becoming like any other state government, slightly good or
bad. The great note of optimism on which Khattar started his innings is now turning out to be a case of ‘misguided missile’ which is hitting one after another target. He himself being an epitome of austerity, punctuality and transparency, but Khattar has somehow not been so successful in allowing his personal qualities to get reflected in governance. It is, perhaps, because of the fact that as a ruler in democracy you have to cope with different pulls and pressures which you do not encounter in your personal life. Mahatma Gandhi was certainly a great
This, however, does not mean that one will be forced to fail if he tries to drive the system in a manner which is ‘transparent, performing and accountable’ in toto. When he took over the reins in October 2014, Khattar was seen following the footprints of none other than Prime Minister Modi. He promised to have a compact team and he started his chief ministerial innings accordingly. He put in place a small, but effective team. All said and done, his team comprises dynamic leaders like Om Prakash Dhankar, Captain Abhimanyu, Anil Vij and Rambilas Sharma. They are quite competent to perform multiple duties effectively. Even in the previous government led by Hooda, a few of ministers were real pillars of the government. They included Randeep Singh Surjewala, Kiran Choudhary and Captain Ajay Singh Yadav. Others were equally good as are other colleagues of Khattar, who seems to have surrendered to the pressure of electoral democracy.
Chief Minister Khattar’s commitment to provide ‘maximum governance’ through ‘minimum government’ seems to have gone for a toss. Now he is the proud captain of a huge team comprising a number of advisers, officers of special duty, parliamentary secretaries and of course a complete ministerial team in accordance with the strength of the House. It is nowhere written that the Chief Minister of Haryana cannot have a big team, but people start questioning the rationale behind the decision if desired results are not delivered.
It is also true that in a small state like Haryana, which is already blessed with better facilities and economic and educational indicators, one does not have much to do, but in such a situation the real litmus test of leadership lies in taking facilities to next level, which is not happening even now. The government is working in a routine manner with focus on traditional way of doing things such as distributing money on one pretext or the other and not much emphasis on creating capital, intellectual assets and building and expanding infrastructure for the
Last week saw Chief Minister Khattar launching the Plot and Property Management System at Panchkula under the e-Governance initiatives of the state government. It enables people to check full record of their property online and they can also make their outstanding payments online. On this occasion he said that two years ago, ‘there was corruption at every level, but the use of e-Governance has helped in reducing corruption considerably and save people both time and money.’ One hopes he also does something to check corruption which is beyond the domain of e-Governance.
Corruption at tertiary level is rarely discussed and debated, because the alleged promoters of corruption at this level are said to be ‘important and well linked’ people, who can manage things their way whatever be the size of the hand of laws. Khattar also spoke about the fact that his government has been able to fulfil or work upon 223 announcements out of a total of 419. Last week, Chief Minister Khattar also distributed cheques to farmers under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana.
This scheme of the Central government has been criticised by opposition parties. Insurance cover to farmers’ crop is a good idea, but this should be done in a transparent manner. Farmers need one composite insurance cover, which meets their varied needs.