“My ministry, my state” syndrome, it seems, is spreading.
After Mamata Banerjee filled up key posts in her railway ministry with people from Bengal, her ministerial colleague Krishna Tirath’s has taken upon herself to show faith in Delhiites.
As Women and Child Development Minister, Tirath has nominated eight members to the Central Social Welfare Board. Seven of them are from the Capital.
Tirath represents North-West Delhi in the Lok Sabha, while Banerjee is the Member of Parliament from the Kolkata South, West Bengal. Tirath named the members to the board without consulting chairperson Prema Karappa, a Rajya Sabha member from Karnataka.
Karappa said she didn’t know who were nominated to the board. “I was not consulted and I don’t know why.” The procedure says that the chairperson should be consulted, she said.
The board, which gets close to Rs. 110 crore from the Centre for welfare schemes for women and children, was set up in 1956 by prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru. The mandate: to give national social policy a national perspective.
The objective is obviously lost, as except for the chairpersons all the nominated members are from Delhi. Being part of the board’s executive body, these members are responsible for its day-to-day functioning.
Former Delhi Metropolitan Council (replaced by Delhi assembly) speaker Purshotam Goel, country’s first woman Indian Police Service officer Kiran Bedi and former National Commission for Women chairperson Mohini Giri have been nominated under the category of eminent persons with extensive experience in social work.
Journalist-turned-social activist Sreerupa Mitra Chaudhary, nutrition expert Dr Mira Shiva and a child psychologist Vandana Roy-Mittal have been named under the category of professional experts.
“All of them have extensive experience in their areas of work,” said a senior ministry official, defending the move. The official refused to be identified, saying the nominations were made on the recommendation of the minister and not bureaucrats.
And, this is only the beginning. Tirath will soon be making more appointments and if officials are to be believed, more Delhiwallas can hope to be “gainfully employed”.