Being different from Cong Govt : Time to break the coteries

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That the BJP led Government is trying to be different from the Congress Government of the last 15 years is clear.

The question however is, different in what sense ?

Is the BJP led Government going to be satisfied with only changing its approach to the various issues facing the State or is it ready to change the mental set up of the previous Government, which has taken deep roots.

No easy answers here, but it is evident that Chief Minister N Biren is trying to tread a path not taken by his predecessor and perhaps this can be gauged from the fact that he is far more accessible than the previous Chief Minister.

This is apart from throwing open the gate of the Chief Minister’s residence every 10th and 15th of the month for Hill Leaders’ Day and Meeyamgi Numit, and from the manner in which the present Chief Minister is more than ready to speak to the public through any medium.

To the press too, the present Chief Minister is more accessible.

This is about the Chief Minister and take things a little more broader and one can see the efforts being made to reach out to the hill districts, best exemplified by the Cabinet meeting held at Churachandpur some time back, the road journey to Ukhrul district headquarters and organising the Shirui Lily Festival at the State level.

The presence of the Chief Minister and some of his Ministers at the Barak Spring Festival at Senapati is another example that comes to mind.

However this cannot entirely say that the present Government has overhauled the administrative set up of the previous Government.

The men and women who managed and implemented the policies of the previous Government seem to be very much in place and it is here that continuity which Chief Minister N Biren has repeatedly harked on becomes all that more evident.

Continuity in policies, programmes and the stand of the State Government on sensitive issues such as the territorial integrity of Manipur is fine and acceptable.

However, it is important for the Government too to keep in mind that for the people to truly experience a change from the earlier Government would be for the present dispensation to effect a change in the entrenched babudom of the previous regime.

After all it is the babus who will be implementing the policies and programmes of the Government.

How successfully has the present Government moved away from the mindset of the previous Government is then the natural question that follows.

This question is relevant in the face of the fact that the Narendra Modi Government has done all it can to move away from the previous Congress led UPA Government and this can be seen in how the Centre went about appointing its men and women as Governors all over the country as soon as the BJP led NDA Government took charge.

No doubt the officialdom one is talking here are not political appointees, but it is important to keep in mind that it is the babus who will be implementing the policies of the Government at the ground level.

Cliques and coteries are known to develop under a Government which is in power for a long period and surely 15 years of Congress rule is long and it is here that one needs to raise the question of whether the present Government is intent on breaking the power centres and cliques in the Government set up.

Source: The Sangai Express

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