With an eye on the 2014 Lok Sabha and assembly elections, Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Sunday announced a series of doles.
While the social security pension, minimum wages of workers, and the pay packets of police and Class-3 and -4 employees are enhanced, a free medical treatment scheme is also introduced and the state government is to go on a recruitment spree to fill more than 80,000 posts, including 15,000 that will go to Scheduled Castes and Backward Classes, within a year.
Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda at Haryana Shakti Rally Gohana on Sonepat. Manoj Dhaka/HT
A number of new schemes, all prefixed with the label of Mukhya Mantri (chief minister), indicate the sops were designed keeping the 2014 Vidhan Sabha elections in mind. Hooda always ruled out the possibility of holding simultaneous contests for assembly but the way he went all out on Sunday with pacifiers proves otherwise.
For a change, the CM tried sounding tough, especially when he announced he would make public servants answerable by enacting an "accountability legislation". Speaking at Haryana Shakti Rally, a virtual show of party's strength, at Gohana, he distributed doles without caring about the long-term financial implications. His approach, in his own words: "Let me tell those opposition leaders who were criticising me for bankrupting the state exchequer. Main to luta raha hoon apne logon ke liye, loot to nahin raha (I am squandering for my people, not looting them at least)," he said.
Answerability of civil servants
The chief minister said people often criticised his bureaucrats for stalling things. "This will not happen now," he said, "I have decided to put them on a leash by enacting a Jawabdehi Kanun (accountability law). Following its implementation, every government official will have to complete the job within a fixed time and those delaying matter will be taken to task.''
Sops in a nutshell
Crop-damage compensation increased
Help to family in case of farmer's death
One-time settlement of loan
Class-3 and -4 employees get interim relief
Police get additional risk allowance
Hike in wages ofsafai karamcharis
Fat increase in minimum wages
Accident compensation to industrial workers
More than 80,000 to be hired within a year
50% ticket reservation in 2014 assembly polls
Free bus travel for girl students
Women pay only half application fee for government jobs