Over two years in power certainly means that the ruling party MLAs will also have some complaints with regard to the issues close to their hearts, which are not getting due attention of the government. Gurgaon is everybody’s concern not only in Haryana but for all potential investors scattered across the country and many of them in foreign countries too. It is learnt that Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar has received complaints about some modification in a proposed route of metro train. It has been alleged that this has been done under some pressure or with an intention to help out some important people, which is nothing new in a democratic set-up. It happens everywhere and hence is happening in Haryana too. The fight is not to protect Gurgaon’s urban ethos and values but to monetise the city’s every corner for the benefits
of those who matter in the corridors of power. Today Gurgaon or Gurugram is an example of haphazard growth where metro, malls and apartments exist together. For want of will power to adhere to basic norms and ethos of urban and town planning, the state government has just remained a passive onlooker to the continuous erosion of urban development and reckless change in land use, which has converted Gurgaon into a city of chaos and confusion. Still there is a scope for corrective measures, but nothing is being done so decisively in this regard. Most of us have not yet forgotten the havoc which rains wreaked in Haryana’s Millennium City last year. It will happen again this year if the city gets unprecedented rains, simply because of the fact that our urban planning takes a very narrow view of things to serve some vested interests of powerful people.
A group of BJP MLAs, mostly from south Haryana, have also registered their resentment with Chief Minister Khattar with regard to alleged discrimination meted out to their areas in carrying out development works. It is not yet known whether these MLAs are being used as a tool for power balancing within the BJP or they are really concerned about the development of their respective areas. Similar issues had been raised when Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the state’s chief minister for ten years. It is sad that Haryana’s holistic development has been a casualty whosoever rules the state. The present dispensation too seems to be obsessed with different priorities. It seems that the current regime is being driven by perception that they are doing a great job and not by action at the grassroots level. Farmers are being given insurance
facility, which will help insurers more than the farmers. It is interesting to note that Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar, whose chief ministerial ambitions got curtailed due to rivalry among several Jat leaders in the state, is trying his level best to prepare farmers of the state for concepts like climate-smart agriculture, organic farming and micro irrigation, which is the core issue of second Agri-leadership summit being organised at Surajkund from March 18-20. The summit is being organised at the cost of tax payers’ money. Dhankar has a dream to replicate the Chinese vision of peri-urban agriculture in the state. Haryana’s Vita dairy products have not been able to foray into domestic markets so far so remarkably, while Hafed products are rarely seen at retail outlets for want of an effective chain right from production to packing, branding and marketing.
Last but not the least, the state government has not yet been able to end the impasse prevailing over Jat quota issue. It has been threatened that Delhi would be converted into a Jat land on March 20. “We will move towards Delhi on tractor trolleys and convert the national capital into a Jat land on March 20,” Yashpal Malik, president of Akhil Bhartiya Jat Aarakshan Sangharsh Samiti Yashpal Malik, spearheading the campaign, said in Chandigarh on March 3. It is being said that Chief Minister Khattar has been advised by his close aides not to attach extra importance to
Malik and just ignore him and his words. Malik is not from Haryana. He is from western Uttar Pradesh, which is dotted with affluent Jat farmers. Most of Haryana’s affluent Jat people have their relatives in western Uttar Pradesh. Malik has promised that his ‘protests will continue peacefully till demands are met by the BJP government.’ Paramilitary forces are keeping a vigil at many places. Besides seeking quota in education and government jobs under the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category, Jats are demanding the release of those jailed during last year’s stir, withdrawal of cases slapped during the protest and government jobs for the dependents of those killed and injured while taking part in the agitation. Since the quota issue is sub-judice the state government cannot do much and so far as withdrawal of cases is concerned, the CMO knows that someone will challenge the decision in the court, which may not uphold the government’s move. It is indeed a Catch-22 situation for Chief Minister Khattar!