Friday, 03 June 2022 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun
The somersault done by the State government in reversing its earlier decision to hold the budget session of Uttarakhand Assembly in Gairsain exhibits the anathema the Babudom of the Himalayan state has for this sleepy place located in the Chamoli district. One of the excuses given by the administration for shifting the session from mountains to cosy comfort of Doon was the ongoing Char Dham Yatra. In a recent meeting chaired by the Finance minister, the Babus told the minister unequivocally that in the given constraints posed by the Yatra and the ongoing recruitment of police constables it would be difficult to convene session in Gairsain which incidentally happens to be the summer capital of the state. This stand of administration also shows its haplessness to deal with any other issues during the Char Dham Yatra which unfortunately does not augur well for the State. The reluctance of the Babudom coupled with lack of spine shown by political leadership of the State has ensured that the government remains away from Gairsain even after more than two years of it being accorded the status of summer capital of Uttarakhand.
A senior bureaucrat of Uttarakhand against whom a vigilance inquiry has been initiated in a case involving possession of assets disproportionate to his known sources of income is trying his best to wriggle out of the situation by employing every possible trick in his bag. In this endeavour, he is consistently evading the vigilance team which has failed to register his statement in the case so far and has even misled the committee formed by the State administration in the case. The officer who enjoyed immense clout during the regime of Samajwadi Party (SP) in Uttar Pradesh prudently decided to shift base to Uttarakhand after the BJP government came to power there is learnt to have made a plan to live in a lavish overseas location after his retirement. However the Yogi administration got a whiff of his plan after which it shared documents related to his misdeeds during his tenure in Lucknow Development Authority (LDA) and other assignments in UP with the Uttarakhand government following which a vigilance inquiry was initiated against him just a month before his retirement.
There are many in the Himalayan State who always scoff at the ideas and plans of powerful cabinet minister Satpal Maharaj by terming them impractical and inspired by his constant visits to Europe and many developed countries of the west. However his recent suggestion that the system of the indirect election of the Block Pramukhs and the heads of district Panchayats should be done away with has met with widespread appreciation in the state. Maharaj who also holds the portfolio of Panchayati Raj advocated that the above mentioned positions in the three-tier Panchayati Raj system should also be elected directly by the people. At present village Pradhan is directly elected while positions like Block Pramukh and district Panchayat presidents are elected indirectly by the members of block and district Panchayats respectively. Those versed with the system of rural local self governance know it too well that money plays an important role in the elections of block and district Panchayat presidents and the change suggested by Maharaj would strike a mortal blow on corruption in the system.