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Candid Notes

Friday, 30 July 2021 | Gajendra Singh Negi | Dehradun

Future in peril

Amidst indications of commencement of the third wave of the pandemic of Covid-19 in India with the cases of the dreaded disease showing an upward trend in some pockets of the country, the Uttarakhand government has decided to open the schools in the state for the students. The decision though appears logical when viewed in the present perspective when the contagion appears contained in the Himalayan state but this is exactly where the government failed miserably during the second wave of the pandemic when instead of adopting a long term strategy its actions were more of a knee jerk reaction to things. Experts are unanimous that the third wave would affect children more than others and when one connects it with the fact that no school going kid has been vaccinated as yet the hazard of opening schools at this juncture becomes apparent.  Instead of showing an unnecessary and dangerous haste for opening the schools and exposing the children, the authorities should focus on giving a push to the sluggish vaccination drive where less than 20 per cent of the  adult population of the state has been completely vaccinated till date.

Change in Air

Along with the rains the monsoon winds also brought the gushes of change in the political environment of the Himalayan state. The rainy season began with the saffron party replacing Tirath Singh Rawat with a young and energetic Pushkar Singh Dhami on the coveted chair of CM of the state. It also saw appointment of Haridwar strongman Madan Kaushik as president of the state unit who replaced Banshidhar Bhagat. The process continued with the BJP removing indomitable Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank from Team Modi and accommodating Ajay Bhatt in the union council of ministers. The opposition Congress also jumped into the change bandwagon by replacing Pritam Singh with Ganesh Godiyal on the post of PCC president.  In order to balance caste and regional equation it also came up with an idea of four working presidents in a small state. The grapevine making rounds in the political circles has it that the BJP is now planning to change its party president in the state. The ganging up of some MLAs against Kaushik and the necessity to maintain regional balance which at present appears tilted in the favour of Kumaon are said to be the reasons for it.

Falling in line

The virtual carte blanche given by CM Dhami to the chief secretary S S Sandhu has started reflecting in the functioning of the Babudom of Uttarakhand. In a development which is unprecedented in the history of the state, the government issued a terse order recently in which it said that the IAS officers should not exert political pressure on their seniors to get favourable postings. The letter literally blew the lid off the games the Babus play in tandem with their political bosses to corner plum assignments and also made it clear what the new CM and CS want from the bureaucracy.   The warning yielded desired results as a handful of Babus apparently annoyed by clipping of their wings in the recent transfers and were digging their heels for new assignments, read the writing on the wall and promptly joined new duties.

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