Candid Notes

Friday, 02 July 2021 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun

Covid deaths

Even as the lethal second wave of the contagion of Covid-19 seems to have been contained, the skeletons are continuing to tumble out of the closet of the health department of the Himalayan state. After surfacing of a major scam in the testing of samples during the Kumbh in Haridwar it has now become apparent that a large number of deaths due to the dreaded virus went unreported in the state when the pandemic was at its peak. To everyone’s shock the death toll on June 30 witnessed a big jump with the department reporting 218 such deaths which went unreported earlier. The state health department has so far reported 1217 backlog deaths in the state which puts up a big question mark on its functioning. It is not clear as to whether these 1200 plus people were cremated as per the protocols for the Covid patients or not.  The Babus heading the health department were given unlimited financial and other powers by the government in the pandemic period but it is for everyone to see how sloppily the pandemic was tackled by them. The backlog deaths and their sheer numbers give credence to the popular belief in the society that the authorities deliberately swept many unwanted things under the carpet during the pandemic.

Jija- Sala Saga

Seemingly perturbed by what he perceives a deliberate attempt by his powerful Jija to thwart his promotion to the coveted post of the leader of Congress Legislature Party (CLP) in the Himalayan state a prominent leader of the grand old party is learnt to have joined hands with the rival camp of his Jija. The talk making rounds in the political circles in the state is that the camp opposed to the former CM and tallest leader of Congress party in the state cashed on to the inherent ambition of the young leader and backed him for the post of CLP leader. Alarmed by this move of his baiters to breach into his fiefdom, the Jija opposed the elevation of his brother in law on the ground that it would jeopardise the regional and caste equations of the party in the state. With the Congress President Sonia Gandhi authorised to take a call on the CLP leader and as well as the new PCC chief it would be interesting to note the gains made by the rival camps in the ongoing battle of the wits and how the family drama in the most prominent family of Uttarakhand Congress unfolds further.

Confrontationist Minister

The anathema the only female member of the council of ministers in Uttarakhand has towards Babudom surfaced again recently with her directing the health secretary to remove the Principal of Almora Medical College. The minister got irked when the Principal purportedly took a phone call during a presentation which was being attended by her. The Principal on the other hand claimed that the phone call was from the deputy speaker of Uttarakhand assembly and he only told him to revert back after the meeting with the minister. The minister had entered into a controversy a few months ago when she wrote a letter to the then SSP of Dehradun to register a case as a secretary of a department headed by her has gone ‘missing’. She has become so unpopular among the bureaucrats that many of them have shown open reluctance to work under her. 

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