The burden of past misdeeds and failed governance of previous governments in Uttarakhand has fallen upon Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami’s shoulders. The sheen he had acquired as a young and forward looking leader is proving hard to maintain under the present circumstances. It will require decisive action in governance and essential reform in political culture to bring matters anywhere near ‘normality’.
While the recruitment scams, right from the selection agencies to the Vidhan Sabha, reveal the rot that crept into governance in the state, the Ankita murder indicates a decline in social mores caused by a plethora of, basically, leadership lapses. All the moral outrage being heard these days across the board overlooks the fact that everybody is responsible for the present state of affairs by either overlooking lapses or being complicit in them. This needs to be communicated by the current leadership, while at the same time coping with the political challenge.
It is after a long time that the opposition has found issues of substance to target the BJP and it will only be natural for it to exploit them to the fullest. The harsh fact for the ruling party is that those involved in Ankita’s murder are senior members of the BJP. This is a major setback for a party that claims to be the best representative of India’s value system. It must show, therefore, that it adheres to those values, in the manner it deals with the present challenge. Ankita’s killers will get what’s coming to them, but the perception issue will not go away that easily for the Dhami Government.
Unfortunately, none of the tough actions expected have unfolded till now. While small time employees have been sacked and manipulators of exams arrested, action is still awaited against the bigwigs. At the policy level, what restricts the government from immediately doing away with the Revenue Police system? In fact, expanding the regular police into these ‘uncovered’ areas would also provide coveted job opportunities to the state’s youths. It is believed that Chief Minister Dhami’s running around in the corridors of power in Delhi is aimed at obtaining the necessary ‘clearances’. Hopefully he will get these soon and the required action taken on, both, administrative and social rejuvenation.