Contrary to the popular perception, TSR continues to surprise everyone with his political acumen. Recently the CM virtually put to rest a speculation about an impending cabinet expansion when he stated that the expansion has been delayed due to Covid-19 pandemic and it would be done after the situation normalises. Three cabinet berths are waiting to be filled in Uttarakhand for a very long period now and with a surfeit of candidates eager to don the special suit for oath taking ceremony coupled with the political permutations and combinations, the decision is a not an easy one. Many political pundits believe that TSR would not go for expanding his team and his reference to pandemic shows that the aspirants would have to wait for some more time. Interestingly with this statement, the CM in a subtle yet firm manner also conveyed a message to the chief of the saffron party in Uttarakhand (who has been making utterances on the issue) that cabinet expansion is his (TSR’s) prerogative.
The technocrats often lament about the overt preference given to the bureaucrats and growing tendency of the Babudom to encroach upon whatever little turf they are left with. The techies are right in their place in having this presumption however one cannot deny that they themselves are to be blamed for much of their predicament. In one such instance happened recently in the Himalayan state, a young IAS officer was handed over the reins of two of the three power corporations. These positions of Managing Director (MD) were hitherto held by the technocrats and for the first time the state government has foisted a bureaucrat on the power corporations. The ostensible reason being that the state administration found no candidate suitable for these assignments considered plum after a selection process but is clear that Chief Minister TSR who himself holds the portfolio of power was forced to appoint a Babu at helm due to rampant mismanagement and accusations of corruption in these corporations which were set up with an idea to make Uttarakhand a power surplus state.
In high spirits
The recent appointment of a controversial yet efficient officer on the coveted chair of the head of the bureaucracy in the state has emboldened a distinct group and its presence has increased in the corridors of power. The grapevine has it that this group consisting of some officials, scribes and others is patronized by the top Babu. It would be interesting to note the activities of this faction in coming days and how the political leadership of state tackles the subject but it would be advisable for the new boss to take a leaf out of the book of his predecessor who received accolades for his upright ways and abhorrence for favoritism.