TODAY -

Blaming the predecessor till near end of term
- The People's Chronicle Editorial :: September 14, 2021 -



LIKE it or not, there seems to be some substance in the remarks of education ministers Rajen that some elected representatives of assembly constituencies in the hill areas are trying to create divisions on ethnic lines, all with an aim to further their political career.

Though it is unlikely that the minister would be in a position to establish veracity of own contention about hill leaders pillaging funds earmarked for bringing development in the hill areas, a glance at the palatial buildings in tribal-populated areas in the twin capital districts stands testimony that not all the representatives have the firm resolve to address socio-economic shortcomings of the hill people.

Apart from the legislators, sincerity and commitment of socio-politically influential personalities in the hills are also questionable if one takes note of the vast differences in the standard of living between the commoners and the village chiefs.

Having inherited land rights and vast natural resources, it shouldn't surprise anybody if village chiefs live life with all the worldly comforts while it is unthinkable for the villagers to even invest in education of their wards as their immediate concern is to struggle for survival.

Thus, minister Rajen's discrete contention that some of the elected representatives in the past siphoned off public funds to amass personal wealth but continue to drive wedge between the hills and valley people can't be dismissed as presumptuous for he must be well aware of the consequences such a remark might have on the coalition government, which have substantial representatives elected from hill area assembly constituencies.

As his scathing remarks were made during reception of former Congress party loyalists, it is obvious that the minister's tirade was aimed at the past Congress ministers and MLAs.

With the assembly elections round the corner, it could be safely stated that charges and counter-charges would fly thick and fast till at-least the votes have been cast.

As the hill-valley relationship, which was perceptibly healthy in the formative period of the BJP-led government, seem to have soured to some extent in the aftermath of non-tabling of the contentious ADC Bill, 2021 recommended by the Hill Areas Committee coupled with uproar from various tribal organisations and political figures against the now-rescinded order for induction of valley-centred MLAs, it is possible that minister Rajen's ingenuous remarks might be interpreted from a wholly different aspect as demeaning the representatives of the hill people.

Moreover, it wouldn't be digestible to many if any representative of the BJP-led government claims that the Congress should continue to be held accountable for all the ills afflicting people in the hills.

Minister Rajen seems to be justifying the kind of argument that his government is just doing what its predecessor did nearly five years earlier.

Minister Rajen and all his colleagues should remember that the ordinary citizens didn't mind the second-placed BJP from outwitting the majority-bereft Congress party in stitching a coalition and forming the government after the 2017 polls as the public, who had been yearning for a change, were promised by BJP leaders better days in both the hills and valley, and to deliver within 15 months what the previous regime couldn't perform in its 15 years of rule.



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