Chief minister Harish Rawat has gone into an overdrive, holding marathon meetings on development projects and social welfare schemes, amid talks that the assembly polls that were scheduled to be held early next year could be pulled ahead to November 2016.
This possibility, coupled with the fact that many projects have been held up due to a lack of funds, has resulted in Rawat working overtime to ensure that the government schemes are completed on time, say officials.
The unfinished projects reportedly include most of the over 3,000 announcements made by the chief minister since he took office in early 2014.
“The marathon review meetings on various projects that the chief minister presides over conclude at 2.30-3 am,” Surendra Kumar, the chief minister’s media in-charge, said. “By 5 am he is up again and two hours later starts seeing visitors,” he told Hindustan Times.
Many projects were stuck because the state budget of over `40, 000 crore was in limbo due to the prolonged political crisis in the state.
The budget was finally passed by the assembly on July 21 after the Rawat government was reinstated following an apex court order.
Even bureaucrats appear appreciative of the energy Rawat is putting in.
“The chief minister must be nearing 70 but we are amazed to see that he works tirelessly for hours at a stretch and yet looks fresh,” a senior bureaucrat, who recently retired from a high-ranking position, said.
“The best part is that the chief minister keeps a cool head despite putting in long hours of work. I never saw him scolding or insulting officials during any of the meetings,” said a senior official at the Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).
The upshot of the work put in by Rawat is that the ruling Congress appears upbeat over the assembly polls. “Thanks to the painstaking work by the chief minister, the implementation of our development agenda is almost complete and we are poll-ready, even if the assembly polls are announced today”, Kumar said.
“Organisationally also, we are ready to face elections, thanks mainly to the chief minister working tirelessly to expedite development”, said chief state Congress spokesperson MD Joshi.