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Rajasthan Secretariat goes into pre-poll mode

Visitors to the corridors of power in the State are few, and Secretariat staff, from personal secretaries to security personnel at the gates, are having a relaxed time.

india Updated: Nov 07, 2003 17:48 IST
KS Tomar

The Secretariat bears a deserted look these days after imposition of the election code of conduct.

Visitors to the corridors of power in the State are few, and Secretariat staff, from personal secretaries to security personnel at the gates, are having a relaxed time.

As bureaucrats are steadfast in refraining from taking controversial decisions that might invite trouble, the only flurry that can be seen is in the offices of the Chief Electoral Officer. For most Secretariat employees, lunchtime has become an extended 2-3 hour ritual thick with discussions on the political uncertainties surrounding the elections.

While discussion abounds on the politics of state, political leanings in the Secretariat makes for interesting discussion itself. The most interesting part of it is the clear division between pro-Congress and pro-BJP bureaucrats.

Pro-congress bureaucrats are sympathetic of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot and want to see him at the helm of affairs again. They argue that the present government has done a lot for the State. In particular, the Government’s drought management is something that is sure to bring home the votes, they argue.

On the opposition side, IAS officers who were not fortunate enough to get plum postings in the past five years would like to see the BJP come to power. They contend the general public is fed up with the present dispensation and will ensure a BJP comeback.

On the other hand, most private secretaries and personal assistants of ministers are hoping to see their bosses back in office. For a change, they are all seen being extra courteous with anybody dropping in, least they annoy a probable supporter of their bosses.

All this, hectic activity continues at the chambers of the Chief Electoral Officer, with an army of men busy finalising arrangements for the December 1 polls.

Everybody at the Secretariat is waiting and watching for the outcome, maybe waiting just a little more.

First Published: Nov 07, 2003 17:48 IST