Over a dozen BJP legislators in Haryana strongly feel that their government is wasting itself on small matters of lesser consequence and ignoring the larger picture. They feel neglected and are knocking at the doors of their senior leaders at the national level. It is over a month now but their efforts have not borne much result. Even this week, these legislators and now some ministers as well had long parleys with top leaders, more of those located at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh office in Delhi.
The spokesperson for the dissident group Santosh Sarwan said that the Khattar government had been giving them a step motherly treatment. “It is like having two sons, one of whom is being embraced and the other one discarded.” Dissident MLA from Gurugram, Umesh Aggarwal had lashed out at his own Government in the State Assembly alleging irregularities in the allotment of land licenses to the companies in his constituency. He left the Manohar Lal Government embarrassed when he raised questions on the changes made in the master plan 2013 of Gurugram and alleged irregularities in land allotment to the companies.
The party while presenting itself before the people of Haryana during the 2014 assembly elections had made a variety of promises which it has largely failed to keep. There is no mention of providing 50 per cent profit to farmers over the cost of their production, even simple procurement at the minimum prices is in a muddle. Jat reservations issue is like a hydra headed monster that could consume society. By now the BJP government should have created three lakh jobs or provided doles in lieu.
The government admits that the debt has risen to 1, 24,935 crore in 2016-17 from Rs 70,931 in 2014-15. Similarly there is debt relief to the famers. The emphasis has shifted from quality universal education to the teaching of the Gita and Sanskrit and there too there is hardly any real work being done. The chief minister during his repeated tours keeps doling out more promises. He has now by now made 3,400 announcements and it is a record of sorts and as per his admission he was able to fulfill not more than 34 per cent.
The people who had responded by electing the BJP, a small party to the pedestal of power and gave 47 MLAs in house of 90. They are now pestering their elected representatives to deliver at least on major promises. But Chief Minister Manohar lal has been busy only making big announcements.
During the past some weeks, sixteen MLAs have been extra active, almost threatening the leadership of the chief minister. Their main grouse is that it is bureaucracy that is ruling the roost and they are unable to help their constituents. But some observers note that this is a smokescreen and real game is to see Manohar lal out or if that does not work out have at least a deputy chief minister of their choice. Also, they are keen to get favours like grant of licenses to change the land for real estate purposes. There is a big money for housing or industry. Second, they wish to command the district officers. Privately some of these dissident MLAs bemoan that the ministers are having merry good time, they feel neglected as they do not have any say in the government.
The high command has deputed senior RSS functionary V Satish, who is BJP joint general secretary (organisation), to have detailed discussions with BJP rank and file and government functionaries. The state BJP President Subhash Barala, who is also a MLA touring the state, trying to gauge the mood. He admits there has been lot of speculations, especially related to appointment of deputy CM in Haryana. But there is no such issue at all, therefore the party decided to postpone the meeting of all MLAs and ministers to be held in Delhi in the presence of the central leaders for the time being. He reasoned that the party was tied up with other programmes. But sources inside BJP confirmed that speculations related to appointment of deputy CM in Haryana and other changes, besides demands by certain dissident MLAs to bring change in the bureaucracy, forced party bosses to postpone the meeting. But Cabinet Minister Anil Vij, Haryana Deputy Speaker Santosh Yadav and former minister Ghanshyam Saraf were among those who visited the party headquarters this morning.
The ball squarely lies with the party president Amit shah who is keeping a close watch, and in a way encouraging the dissident movement. There are signs of RSS and BJP vying for supremacy and control over government affairs. While the possibility of appointment of a deputy CM, both to assuage ‘resentment’ in a section of Haryana leaders and also to cater to caste combinations looks remote but someone could be shifted to the BJP organisation at the Centre. There are several vacancies in Shah’s core team following the appointment of several of its members as ministers in states that went to the polls recently. Several posts of secretary, general secretary and vice- president are vacant in the party’s central organisation.
The opposition allegation that the BJP government has led the prosperous and booming Haryana state to the verge of bankruptcy may not be entirely true. Yet the people are shocked to know that the state debt has almost doubled in just two years. There is a kind of paralysis in governance, never ending bickering in the government and not many eye catching developmental works or fulfillment of any of pre-poll promises.