The Telegraph
Tuesday , June 17 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Dal revamp to counter poll woes

The JDU plans to give more voice to legislators and political workers in the functioning of the government since its rout in the Lok Sabha elections and rebellion in the ranks ahead of the Rajya Sabha polls.

A senior minister told The Telegraph: “At present, we are busy correcting the arithmetic for the Rajya Sabha bypoll. Followed by this, steps would be taken for giving more voice to legislators and party workers in the state’s governance.”

Another minister revealed that the 20-point programme implementation committees in districts would be activated. This platform would be used to give space to MLAs, local leaders and party workers to have their say in the implementation of various government schemes.

JDU insiders feel it has now dawned upon the party that disenchantment of the MLAs and party workers was a major reason for the party’s poor performance in the general election.

“It is good if the party seniors, who are enjoying the fruits of power, are thinking along these lines. Though it is a bit late, this would still help the party in the next Assembly elections,” said a JDU MLA.

As part of the revamp, the government is also planning to assign the in-charge ministers for the districts the responsibility to review the law and order situation.

“Now, the in-charge ministers review only the implementation of welfare and development schemes. Review of law and order situation would allow us to rein in the field officials who, at times, don’t provide complete feedback on issues related to the districts and try to handle things on their own,” said the minister.

Although bureaucrats are not surprised with the developments, some leaders feel the party is thinking too much.

Former MP and suspended JDU leader Shivanand Tiwari said: “The JDU is thinking these things after losing everything. It would now be very difficult to change things on the ground and reinvigorate the party workers who feel alienated.”

He added that the demand for giving voice to MLAs and party workers in governance had been made even during former chief minister Nitish Kumar’s first term.

Bureaucrats and field officials are not surprised.

A senior bureaucrat, who was recently transferred from a key department, said: “The day Nitish put in his papers we prepared ourselves for the old days when politicians used to interfere in almost everything. Now, with the possibility of the ruling party joining hands with the RJD, we are expecting the worse.”

Another senior bureaucrat said the first major indication to the revamp was in the recent overhaul of the bureaucracy.

“Unlike Nitish’s government, this (bureaucratic) overhaul witnessed a clear stamp of politicians. Else the performing officials, heading key government departments, would not have been shunted out to less important departments,” he added.