Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The halt in governance...

One of the primary and most important responsibility of a Home Minister (at Central and State) is maintanance of law and order. It effectively means that the entire police force reports to the Home Minister. The Home Minister guides the police force during critical law and order situations.

Yesterday, 81 MLAs from Telangana region, belonging to both the Congress and TDP have resigned for the Telangana cause. Amongst them are 11 ministers. Amongst those 11 ministers is the Home Minister of the state, Smt. Sabita Indra Reddy !! So now she resigned as an MLA but not as a minister, but then morality demands that you don't continue as a minister after resigning as MLA, otherwise what big cause are you fighting for?

On the other hand, you took an oath saying you will preserve law and order. And now you are part of the group that has precipitated the situation and emboldened Telangana Joint Action Committee (T-JAC) to call for a 48 hour bandh. Given the past violence during such bandhs, this 48 hour bandh is a critical law and order problem - so which sides do your loyalty lie Madam Home Minister? Will the police force now report to you on their plan of action? Will you guide them to enforce law strictly or will you ask them to go lightly on those who will break the law? Does the police force have enough clarity in what to do and enough trust in reporting back to you? Are these not important questions that should bother citizens and law makers alike (it should bother the media too, but ...) ? Will you take responsibility for the ensuing chaos?

11 ministers out of a cabinet of 38 have resigned as MLAs (breaking news is that a 12th guy resigned too). If news reports are to be believed, they will not be discharging their duties One more minister is the president of the state congress too - so all his time will go into overcoming this crisis. So we have 12 non-functional ministers now (. Am pretty sure atleast half of the other 26 ministers will be busy discussing this political situation :D. If this is not called stagnation (or maybe should we call it, a halt) in governance, then what is?

81 MLAs in an Assembly of 294 have resigned. State Panchayat Raj Minister, Mr. K. Jana Reddy (who incidentally was the Home Minister in YSR1.0 government from 2004-2009) enlightens us that this is not a crisis. Really, Mr. Jana? If this is not a crisis, then what is??

Andhra Pradesh has been plagued by such stagnant governance since the December 2009 agitation. We do not know how long the latest crisis will last. Could be days, could be weeks. Leave political uncertainty, the uncertainty in governance is so glaring that it has ceased to surprise us anymore. The stagnation started with the death of YSR, compounded by his son Jagan's belligerent stance, multiplied because of the Telangana agitation and has consistently only grown ever since. A change in the Chief Minister didn't help (all we see is huge posters of this guy telling us what all he "achieved"). A new state Congress president was appointed and it was celebrated as if the 11th incarnation of god happened! With these changes, a power struggle between the CM and the new chief ensued (the new chief even held review meetings with ministers and officials!) - the end result is more stagnation (halt)!

In the initial phases of this agitation, the alarming regularity with which bandhs were called was frustrating. After a couple of them, most of us started defying them and moved on. However, these bandhs are now intermittent. Each time a bandh call is given, first there is mad rush at petrol bunks, throwing traffic management haywire!

Second and most importantly - schools and colleges are closed. For every bandh call, for every single rumour of a disturbance in the city, schools and colleges are closed. And no single political leader is even worried about how these kids will cope up on lost time. Last year, engineering colleges lost about a month because of these agitations (even exams were postponed), but guess what this one month was not compensated in the final semester! This is just one example of the results of no governance in the state.

A compliant media, both at the state and centre, has confined itself to reporting and hyping up parts of the agitation. This blogger has himself been in one of the shops that were attacked, back then. This blog piece details how the media created some unbelievable hype and led to supreme chaos. The way violence was projected as movement was nauseating to say the least. No one seems to be bothered about this facet either.

Week over week, we see ministers closeted with MLAs and loud mouthed MPs, discussing and plotting "future course of action". No minister, I repeat, no minister ever addressed the press on "future course of action" pertaining to his ministry with such regularity. No one, literally no one wants to discuss the fall-out of this stagnation (halt) in governance. Assuming that this "crisis" will be resolved, what is the guarantee that those ministers will work with commitment desired? What is the guarantee that a similar crisis will not "erupt" again?

And the lesser we talk about the steps taken to resolve this stagnation(halt), the better. The one person responsible for this entire chaos - Sonia Gandhi ( read here, why she alone is responsible) , has not uttered a single word till now. Apparently, the Prime Minister has called for an urgent meeting of the Cabinet Committee of Political Affairs last night. CCPA consists of the Prime Minister, Home Minister, Finance Minister + Moily, Antony, Pawar, Farooq Abdullah, and Dayanidhi Maran. Not one face from the state on whose political future the debate is happening!


bigedu said...

Very good article related.

Read comments on the above post.

UVN Pardha Saradhi said...

TELANGANA situation is an intractable situation for the Cong leadership and is paying the price for its own political miscalculation. this situation is due to the tendency of Congress leadership to choose political expediency over more democratically acceptable options.

Anjali Devi said...

This voice echoes the sentiments of the ordinary ppl of Andhra who r tired of bandhs and agitations in regular intervals..y the central govt is yet to take a final decision even aft 40 years??it's truly sad for me that our neighbouring state has been suffering:-(..every political party is worried abt unified andhra nd seperate telangana nd holding the ppl to ransom.:-(

prashhanthkpp said...

:) Sudhirji :),

As usual at your eloquent best at the most distressing and awkward functioning of the State. While this paralytic condition prevails all across the Country, AP has with the recent development, gone one step ahead of non-governance. Incidentally, none of the Ministers are aware of their legal and constitutional locus standi. A PIL could be filed against those Ministers who have resigned their Ministership but hung on to their MLAship. But that is another subject.

I am curious to know, with this mass resignations and deliberate dysfunction of the state machinery, are these Ministers entitled for their daily & monthly remuneration? I am given to understand it is a substantially nourished package the receive at the end of every month. Will they forgo this or be insidiously crafty in plundering it?

That the state is held to ransom for pathetic political embellishment goes without saying. That the public at large suffers the consequences of such stupid actions is beyond their concern. That students loose out on classes and months of education is beyond their comprehension because most of them are uneducated themselves and their children well placed in 'phoren' universities. That law and order is now at the liberty of general public is least important to them.

That SONIA GANDHI and her CONGRESS Party has taken the Country at large and AP in particular to the brink of, if not already a diluted version, of anarchy is needless to say. That a reprieve is imminent is for the public to determine. It is high time that the subtle anti-establishment movement gain momentum across the country including AP so that a better governance both and Center and State can be envisaged in the near future.

As usual, yes your Honor! Bang on target.
Thank you.

Anonymous said...

since when have ministers/elected representatives actually worked so hard that a halt in governance would be a BAD thing? i am sure most people would be extremely relieved if all governance took a permanent holiday.

Sudhir said...

@Saradhi - you are right. Sonia is mainly responsible.

@Anjali - to live with this crap daily is becoming a daily headache for us.

@Prashanth - sirji - you are absolutely right. these ministers are still eligible for their daily/weekly/monthly renumerations. Plus I think they get bonus packages at the end of the month for such gimmicks. As you rightly observed, they really don't care about the suffering of common man and most importantly the career of the students (infact, some leaders are highly educated and yet this chaos in student lives). What a pity really :(

@almostinfamous hahaha :)


Anonymous said...

Well said. Who cares about Aam janta? Our only wish is that , please leave us alone.

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