Shibu Soren in Dhanbad on Saturday. (Gautam Dey)
Dhanbad/Ranchi, Oct. 5: JMM patriarch Shibu Soren has said that the performance of the government headed by his son Hemant left a lot to be desired, a comment that for the first time articulates a popular sentiment about the coalition backed by the Congress and the RJD.
“I will not give more than average marks to the present government,” Guruji told The Telegraph in Dhanbad today, en-route Dumka where he was scheduled to attend a number of party functions, including a few football matches.
“Unless the fruits of the government’s common minimum programme centred around welfare and development projects reach those living in remote villages, I cannot give full marks to this government,” he said.
Soren Senior’s view is significant, since it alludes to the fact that Hemant’s government, nearing three months in office, is yet to settle down.
On July 29, the state government unveiled a common minimum programme with over 100 promises, including setting up medical colleges in all divisional headquarters, forming special courts to speed up corruption case trials, distributing ration cards in three months, starting mid-day meals in madarsas, etc.
But so far, there has been no move to fulfil these promises.
Hemant’s political adviser, Himashu Shekhar Choudhary, believes the criticism was unfair. “It is too early to judge the government. It will start working soon after Puja,” he said.
Hemant’s predecessor Arjun Munda was charitable, preferring to comment only after the government completed a full three months. “I am an optimist. I will give some more days to this government to show results,” he told The Telegraph from Jamshedpur.
Soren Senior has been kept away from day-to-day affairs of the government, primarily due to the Congress, which has indicated it prefers to deal with his son Hemant.
Soren Senior may be speaking out now to vent his frustrations at being sidelined. He nevertheless said that his son was doing a fine job in so far as keeping allies in good humour.
“But, the government’s performance was not satisfactory. It definitely needs a big boost,” he said.
The only area on which he was willing to give Hemant some credit was on the security front. The government, he said, had done a commendable job in forcing Maoists to lie low.
“Security forces have come up trumps in hardcore rebel zones of Saranda and Jhumra, which is a positive sign,” he said.