Dehradun: Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat completes a month in office on Saturday, but his cabinet ministers still await portfolios.It is perhaps for the first time in the history of the state when any chief minister has left his cabinet colleagues without work so long.
However, the chief minister’s office (CMO) is working till midnight, giving sleepless nights to the bureaucrats.
Sources say many ministers want plum portfolios like public works department (PWD), power, industries etc and therefore they are building pressure on the CM. However, CM Rawat has been apparently buying time - thus leaving ministers flummoxed.
“We are without work and it is creating a lot of resentment among followers. Officials are also confused, what to do,” said a minister from Kumaon region.
Meanwhile, the Congress has said there has been no impact on work if the CM has not distributed portfolios.
“The CM has assured that portfolios will be distributed in 48 hours time after consulting central leaders. The non-distribution of portfolios has not affected functioning of the government,” said Dhirendra Pratap, Congress spokesperson. The main opposition party BJP does not buy this theory. BJP believes exchequers money has been wasted as ministers are without works.
“Lakhs are spent on maintaining offices of ministers, paying them perks and salaries. This is a crude joke with the people of the state as lakhs have been wasted on ministers who are unproductive,”commented BJP MLA Bansidhar Bhagat.