Piles of files: Governance in Chhattisgarh cripples as bureaucrats anticipating change of guard

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Raipur, 18 September. Governance in Chhattisgarh has become the latest casualty with the top babus avoiding decisions on important issues anticipating a change of guard amidst ongoing political upheaval in the state. The impasse could cause serious consequences if it continues for a longer period. State has been witnessing a high decibel political drama between Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel and Health Minister TS Singh Deo for the more than a month.

In what could be construed as shrewd political understanding, top notch bureaucrats have stopped taking decisions on important issues fearing the ‘imminent’ change of guard in the ruling Congress could render it as a futile exercise. Offices of senior government functionaries have been bursting with the heaps of files accumulating for more than a month now for want of their signatures for sanctions, rejections and approvals of different requests by the people. Even RTI applicants are being turned away as officers are avoiding signing the documents.

“It is obvious that we avoid taking decisions on important issues when political situation in the state is volatile particularly when the ruling party is contemplating a change of guard”, a top ranking government officer told The National Press on the condition of anonymity.

Files are being either dumped in the government offices or are moving with a sluggish pace. The tendency is visible across the board from the offices of top most bureaucrats to the cooperatives and Public Sector Undertakings (PSU) in the state. The havoc, lethargy in governance caused to the common people notwithstanding, it has lend a helping hand to the political pundits in drawing a conclusion that if bureaucrats are sensing a change of guard then it must be taken seriously as they are the ones who are privy to most secrets of political corridors.

The uncertainty among the bureaucrats was triggered after last month’s high-pitched showdown in New Delhi by Chief Minister Baghel and MLAs supporting him. The Congress top brass had to bite the bullets on September 23 when Baghel faction paraded 54 MLAs in Delhi and forced the AICC to halt its decision to hand over the reins of the state to suave Singh Deo.

Singh Deo loyalists who have been anxiously waiting for their leader’s turn to take the mantle from CM Baghel under a fifty-fifty power sharing formula allegedly reached between the former colleagues turned rivals, have now begun to cheer in anticipation.

The way the grand old party has shown the door to the Punjab stalwart Capt. Amarindar Singh after a long and rancorous political feud with maverick Navajot Singh Siddhu, all eyes have set on Chhattisgarh. Singh Deo supporters feels, that if Amarinder Singh who is one of the tallest Congress satraps with extensive grassroots connection can be forced to put in his papers, Bhupesh will also be made to hand over the reins to Singh Deo.

 

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