With no MLA of opposition Congress attending it, the ‘Manthan’ with the MLAs organised by the Uttarakhand CM, TSR basically turned out to be an intra-party affair of the BJP. Nevertheless, the event gave the opportunity for TSR to soothe the frayed nerves of his MLAs many of whom harbour a grouse that they are being ignored in the scheme of things in their own government. Riding on the Modi wave and anti incumbency of Congress government, the BJP coasted to a landslide victory in Uttarakhand Vidhan Sabha elections held in the year 2017. It has been a smooth sailing for the TSR in Uttarakhand so far thanks to the numerical strength the BJP enjoys in the assembly and strict internal discipline of the party. However the recent electoral reverses in different states have alerted the saffron think tank. It appears that the bigwigs of BJP have asked TSR to be more flexible in dealing with the elected representatives and foot soldiers of the party. The Manthan with the MLAs also seems to be the part of the exercise to tread cautiously and keep the elected representatives of the party satisfied. The mythological ‘Manthan’ of sea yielded both ambrosia and the poison, one hopes both of these extracts also emanated out of churning held at the residence of CM but it would be interesting to see if TSR has the fortitude to drink the poison.
Catch 22 situation
When it filed a Special Leave Petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court (SC) against the Uttarakhand High Court decision in the reservation in promotion case, little did the Uttarakhand government know that the action would put it into a tight spot. The order of SC that reservation is not a fundamental right and that the states are not bound to provide reservation in promotions enthused the general category and OBC employees of the state and it was generally believed the triumphant state government would lift the moratorium on the promotions. Things took a different turn when the opposition parties latched on to the opportunity and attacked the Modi government for trying to finish the reservation. The opposition members launched a diatribe on the government in the Lok Sabha which forced the government to issue a statement on the subject. The spectre of inviting ire of the reserved categories has alerted the top leadership of the saffron party and the Union government could do something like it did to overturn the SC order on dilution of SC ST (prevention of atrocities) act. If this happens, the BJP government would surely antagonise the forward castes in the Himalayan state of Uttarakhand where they comprise the majority.
Blue eyed boy
In the recent reshuffle of administration, a young IAS officer who is in the good books of CM was handed over the coveted assignment of the heading the administration of Dehradun district. The development evinced interest since the Babu was already overloaded with the assignments considered plum in administrative parlance. Apart from being District Magistrate of Dehradun, the officer is also heading the Mussoorie Dehradun Development Authority (MDDA), is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dehradun Smart City limited and is also discharging duties as additional secretary to the CM. The special affinity the officer enjoys with the CM is being linked with the cartful of coveted assignments to him. Though the officer is considered efficient, the heaping of the many responsibilities on his young shoulders cannot be considered a practical approach especially when all these tasks are fulltime and important assignments.