Marathon meetings with babus, site inspections
BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, January 31: The newly sworn–in ministers are now busy taking charge of their departments, enthusiastically holding meetings with bureaucrats and officials, going on inspections and indirectly taking pot–shots at their predecessors for poor performance and work not done.
Atuwa Munda, taking over reins of the Forest department from Rockybul Hussain, has indirectly blamed Hussain for his failure to curb rhino poaching in the State.
The new Cultural Affairs minister Bismita Gogoi has criticized her predecessor Prati Phukan without ming her, for delay in construction of the Bhupen Hazarika Memorial in the city.
Public Health Engineering (PHE) Minister Sukur Ali, who took over charge of the department in the recent ministry reshuffle, has obliquely blamed Gautam Roy for departmental works pending over several years.
Other newly inducted ministers in the Gogoi ministry are also indulging in this blame game, but the question is: How much work can these new ministers accomplish when they have hardly a year left before the State goes to Assembly polls?
Sources privy to the affairs of the government maintain that the functioning of government departments will not change much despite new ministers taking charge, since the bureaucrats remain the same. Even if the new ministers find time to frame some sound policies, the implementation solely depends on these babus. Whether the new ministers can make them deliver in the short time available is the question doing the rounds.
Sources in Dispur say that the new ministers are currently holding meetings and inspecting places where their departmental works are proceeding, with a vigour reminiscent of their predecessors three years back.
The sources also point out that the State Budget session will begin next month, and and most government works will then come to a standstill. After that will come the Bihu season, followed by the rains when there is sure to be a lull in government work. From October, all political parties, ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats in the State will get busy with the Assembly elections, scheduled to be held in the first part of 2016.
So the window for rolling out and completing developmental works is very small for the reshuffled Gogoi ministry. It is imperative for the new ministers to get down to business forthwith, without indulging in blame game. They have their task cut out in the days ahead, and it is huge.