New Delhi, Aug. 8: Union rural development minister Jairam Ramesh — who has been appointed chairman of the Congress Committee for Implementation of Common Minimum Programme in Jharkhand recently — will meet chief minister Hemant Soren and his cabinet colleagues in Ranchi tomorrow to review governance.
Ramesh will also huddle with party leaders Geetashree Oraon and Rajendra Prasad Singh to chalk out “a plan of action” for the alliance government.
Leaders in the Congress maintained that the high command’s decision to appoint a Union minister to monitor functioning of a state government was solely aimed at improving efficiency.
“Ever since Jharkhand came into being in 2000, the state has been an administrative failure and highly unstable. We want to ensure better governance and therefore, this committee has been formed. It will ensure greater efficiency of the JMM-led government,” B.K. Hariprasad, Congress general secretary in-charge of Jharkhand told The Telegraph.
Insiders said that one of the reasons why Ramesh had been roped in for the job was the Congress’s doubt over Hemant’s experience in running a government.
“Leaders, who were earlier apprehensive about joining hands with the JMM, but reluctantly gave in owing to wider political ramifications, too, do not trust Hemant completely. There is a feeling that Jharkhand’s image as that of a poorly governed state must change. Hence, such an arrangement has been made even though it means that state ministers will sort of report to a central minister for all practical purposes,” a source in the party said.
The monitoring panel will also work as a link between the Centre and the state.
“A backward state like Jharkhand needs the Centre’s special assistance and the committee will help bridge that gap. Moreover, as the truck with JMM is seen by many as a part of Congress’s strategy for the upcoming general elections, the party wanted to send out a message. It wishes to say that improving governance and developing the state are its top priority,” a leader said, requesting anonymity.
The Congress, however, has not decided who, apart from Ramesh, will be part of the committee.
“We will take a decision soon,” said Hariprasad.
According to sources, the party will have Geetashree or Rajendra Prasad in the committee apart from state PCC chief Sukhdeo Bhagat, while the JMM and the RJD too will have a minister each.
The Congress, meanwhile, may take a week or so to decide on three of its legislators who will join Hemant’s cabinet. While two from the party are already ministers, three more are set to join the government.
Infighting among legislators and the party’s stand not to include MLAs with tainted image is causing the inordinate delay.