Citizens want transparent governance from an effective leadership today. The era of elected representatives behaving like demagogues is now over.
This was the theme which emerged from an engaging session addressed by the chief ministers of Delhi, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra on the topic Personality Power: How it makes for good governance at the HT Leadership Summit on Saturday.
Delhi CM Sheila Dikshit said her government succeeded in changing the face of the national capital over the past decade by implementing policies which ensured public participation. “Bhagidari system... was unique to India and a precursor to transparency processes like the Right to Information and the citizens’ charter,” she said. Dikshit said despite difficulties in heading the Delhi government, which does not enjoy full state powers, she has been able to deliver on major issues concerning the public ranging from reduction in power cuts to the construction of the Metro rail.
Chhattisgarh CM Dr Raman Singh highlighted the decision of his government to concentrate on the development of the Naxal-infested Bastar region of the state. “Our problems are very different from what the people of Delhi experience. Our priority is countering Naxalite violence and poverty alleviation,” Singh said.
He singled out the thrust on transparency in the implementation of the Public Distribution System (PDS) for the poor as the main reason for people backing his government in the fight against the outlawed Naxalites.
Maharashtra CM Prithviraj Chavan, who has been in the job only for a year as compared to 13 years of Diskhit and eight years of Singh, said people need effective leaders more than the powerful ones. “States today are much more financially powerful than they used to be in the past. People want leaders who are effective in delivering results more than powerful leaders who may have an electoral appeal but are slow in governance delivery,” Chavan said.