By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 1 Mar: Even as the date of counting of votes draws near in Uttarakhand, the State Administration has begun preparing for the installation of the new government and has begun its homework for the same. The preparations include the oath ceremonies and are related to briefings on progress and budget expenditure on each head of account before the new government. This preparation begins before the announcement of the new government irrespective of which party comes to power in the state.
Speaking to this correspondent, one senior bureaucrat said that such preparation is a routine exercise every five years. Even if the same party retains power, ministries are still expected to change hands and the new ministers would like to be briefed on the details. Of course, the bureaucrats are also prepared for a reshuffle irrespective of the outcome of the polls.
In case of change in government, a large scale reshuffle is a foregone conclusion in their opinion. Instructions have been issued to all the departments to present the picture of the state before the new Chief Minister. Progress reports on development works and projects are being prepared. These instructions have been issued by the Chief Secretary as well as the Chief Minister’s Office. Presentations have to be made and shown to the new government and for this the Secretaries and the Chief Secretaries have begun their exercise with effect from today itself.
It may be recalled that counting of the votes will be held on 10 March, across the five states including Uttarakhand where polling has been held. The sixth and seventh rounds of polling remain to be held in Uttar Pradesh and the polling would be over by the evening of 7 March. After which exit polls can be broadcast for the five states.
On 10 March, the counting of votes for the fifth assembly of Uttarakhand will be held. On that day, it will be clear in whose hands the voters of the state have handed over power.
A letter has been issued to all the Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries and Secretaries in-charge. It has been said that the process of formation of government in the state is in progress. Information related to the functioning of administrative departments will be required for use of the government formed after 10 March.
Instructions have been given to all the departments to send a two page report related to departmental plans, projects and activities to the Chief Minister’s Office. In this report, they will have to give details of development works, projects, their financial and physical progress in the department. Apart from this, they have been asked to give details of all the important cases pending at the level of the state and central governments. At the same time, the agenda related to the improvements made to complete these works in a time bound manner will also have to be disclosed. The departments have been told that, apart from this, if they want to give any other important information, then they can do so. In the order issued by Additional Chief Secretary to the Chief Minister, Anand Vardhan, instructions have been given to all the departments that they will make their report available to the Planning Department and Additional Secretary to Chief Minister Sonika at the earliest.
It may be recalled that, so far, no government has managed to retain power in the state ever since the formation of the state. It will be therefore interesting to see if the trend of change of government in every election continues or is broken this time around.
By Arun Pratap Singh