The Jharkhand government has started filling up vacant posts of heads and members of the state-run boards and corporations.
The state government announced the names of chairpersons and members of two boards — the state housing board and the state Hindu religious trust board — on Saturday, raising speculation that more appointments for such headless organisations were in the offing.
This has raised the curiosity of both the media and the political observers who felt it was a move by the ruling Grand Alliance for strengthening ties among coalition partners ahead of the elections next year.
“After the formation of a nine-member committee, led by JMM supremo Shibu Soren, for erasing possible discontent and ensuring better coordination among the coalition partners last year, it is certainly an attempt to consolidate the alliance further before the polls,” a scribe said, adding these appointments would also work as a cementing force.
Labour minister Satyanand Bhokta, the lone RJD MLA in the Jharkhand Assembly, was included in the nine-member committee.
While the Lok Sabha elections will be held around this time next year, Assembly polls in the state will also be scheduled by the end of 2024, he reminded.
“With not much time left for the election process to begin, this is certainly an attempt to keep the alliance partners in good humour so that they give their best during the coming elections,” said another scribe, adding the Congress was given special emphasis.
While the heads of both the boards have been chosen from the Congress, other members, four for each of the two boards, are selected equally from the Congress and the JMM active in different parts of the state.
While Sanjay Lal Paswan from the Congress was appointed as the chairperson for the state housing board, its four members are Abhilash Sahu and Gulam Mohammad from the Congress and Nitin Agrawal and Pawan Mahato from the JMM.
Similarly, Jay Shankar Pathak from the Congrees was appointed as the chairman of the state Hindu religious trust board while its four members are Hridayanand Mishra and Rakesh Sinha from the Congress and Sanjiv Tiwari and Ajay Narayan Mishra from the JMM.
The party workers who were chosen as functionaries of those two boards were visibly elated as some of them who were present in Ranchi on Sunday met the state Congress president Rajesh Thakur and thanked him for nominating them.
“Those like us who work at the grassroots level need such occasional recognition, otherwise they will be frustrated,” a Congressman who was appointed as a member of one of those two boards but preferred not to be named told this newspaper.