The whistle-stop campaign schedule of Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate is finally impacting the governance in the state.
For the past two months, Modi has not been able to spend a week at a stretch in Gandhinagar and that has started showing on the delays in decision making — the hallmark of Modi administration.
But neither Modi nor his party has any plans to have a deputy CM, while mostly bureaucrats are running the show. For, the CM has not delegated any powers to his ministerial colleagues, said a BJP legislator on condition of anonymity. Earlier, Modi used to chair meetings of secretaries and ministers on development works and take stock of pending tasks almost on daily basis. But now even if he is in the state, “he is busy planning rallies and meeting leaders of his party from other states”, said a senior official in the state secretariat.
A finance department official said, “From April to September-end, state departments could utilise only 16 % of the budgetary grants. Money was not spent as no decision could be taken. Normally, more than 40 % allocation is utilised during the first two quarters.”
Another glaring example of the slack in governance is that the state doesn’t have a permanent police chief for more than two months. A principal secretary-level official said, “Several top state PSUs are functioning without MDs. Also, crucial departments, such as port and transport, labour and employment, have no secretaries for months.”