Political capital at public expense

The MDA Government with its flurry of inaugurations and foundation stone-laying ceremonies has outdone all other governments. Perhaps they are acting to a carefully scripted action plan. What no one is asking is whether there are enough funds to make good the promises and to ensure that a district or sub-division promised somewhere is actually going to take shape or if it will remain just a name with no change whatsoever on the ground. This also shows that the public of Meghalaya is far from being informed about the democratic ethos that was implanted in this country 75 years ago. A polity that gets carried away by promises; that gets enamoured by promises of this or that without asking for the revenue model on which the project has been planned and where the financial resources for it would come from. Meghalaya is a state with a begging bowl and a huge loan burden of at least 11,000 crores. Yet the lifestyles of the political icons of the state and a section of the senior bureaucracy hardly reflects this penury that the state is in. Other than the economists from NEHU who analyse the budget from time to time there is no one to break down the annual Meghalaya budget for the common man. Even ordinary mortals know they have to have money before they can spend it. Meghalaya defies this basic rationale with the series of inaugurations.
And many of the projects and sub-divisions are well aimed at getting the sitting NPP MLAs/ministers and a few from the UDP re-elected. Everything is reduced to a political circus and yet there is no public discussion on these crucial matters. Election campaigns will be staid affairs of grandstanding by the candidates even as people will be brought to the rallies in buses and paid for the day. Such election jamboree have happened in the past and will continue into the future if we don’t have some candidates that will call the bluff in the system. In the face of all these events, the Election Commission appears absolutely toothless. The TMC had raised an important issue that the NPP is yet to file its election expenses for the 2018 elections. Why so? Why is the Election Commission so lenient about this dereliction of duty by a political party that is now in the Government? The question is how much autonomy does the State Election Commission have when the same bureaucrat is also serving other departments.
These issues need to be discussed at public forums else Meghalaya will regress into the stone age while a few politicians and the business class will enrich themselves before they migrate to other more developed nations.
Meanwhile the roads and highways across the state but particularly in Khasi-Jaintia Hills are in their worst shape. Instead of repairing these roads or completing their construction, new schemes are announced every day. Woe betide the people of Meghalayan!

Get real time updates directly on your device, subscribe now.

Comments are closed.