BY OUR STAFF REPORTER
GUWAHATI, January 19: With Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi beginning his much anticipated reshuffle of the ministry, the spotlight has shifted to those who are likely to be shown the door. Ostensibly Prithibi Majhi, Pradyut Bordoloi, Prati Phukan, Tanka Bahadur Rai, Gautam Roy, Nilomoni Sen Deka, Akon Bora and Rajib Lochon Pegu will be axed because the Congress fared badly in their constituencies in the last Lok Sabha elections. However the reality is that these ministers have been deadweights, their tenures marked by drift and non–performance. The Sentinel reviews the works of these ministers who have been a liability to the Tarun Gogoi government:
For ten years in charge of Power and Industry, Pradyut Bordoloi has failed to bring about any tangible progress in these two sectors so vital to the state’s economic growth. Except for a few cement factories, no major industrial unit has come up in the state in the last decade. In fact, some public sector undertakings had to close shop. Bordoloi’s promises of boosting power production and supply never materialized.
Minister of Social Welfare since 2008, Akon Bora allegedly worked assiduously for his own welfare. Scams galore marked his tenure, including one in the bulk purchase of pencils and erasers for children by the Social Welfare Department, which the CAG also pointed out in its report. Negligence and improper planning put paid to many schemes of his department. Under Bora’s watch, the Social Welfare ministry remained bereft of direction.
Entrusted since 2001 with heavyweight departments like Social Welfare, Excise, PHE, Border Areas Development and Revenue, Gautam Roy’s performance has nothing much to show. Rather than work, his tenure has been marked by bombast, while syndicates entrenched themselves in the supply network.
The seniormost tea community leader and Minister of Revenue, Labour and Employment departments, Prithibi Majhi hardly took concrete welfare measures for labour. Due to his lack of vision and ideas, the Labour and Employment Department failed miserably in employment generation.
Tanka Bahadur Rai
In charge of the state Planning and Development department, Tanka Bahadur Rai has been a deadweight, which in turn has hurt the functioning of other key departments.
Nilomoni Sen Deka
Fince minister during 2001–04, Nilomoni Sen Deka was axed for non–performance. In charge of Agriculture since 2011, he has failed abysmally in giving it direction. Ever ready to court controversy with outrageous comments, Deka’s credibility has taken a beating with several NGOs filing corruption cases against him.
Rajib Lochon Pegu
When Rajib Lochon Pegu, MLA of perennially flood–prone Majuli, was given charge of the Water Resources ministry, there were high hopes that he would take some concrete and innovative steps to tackle the state’s flood problem. But not only did Pegu fail miserably in measuring up to expectations, his tenure was noted for ‘contractor raj’ entrenching itself in the Water Resources department.
While limited budget has been an excuse, Prati Phukan’s lack of vision and initiative as the state’s Culture minister did not help matters.