Sunday, 7 August 2016

Does PM Modi know that some Haryana ministers are working from mobile offices?

After hard work

When during his election rallies to mobilise support for the BJP and the Haryana assembly election held in October, 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was promising a government to serve the people, perhaps he did not know that some ministers-in-waiting were taking his words seriously.

According to Mail Today (January 16, 2016), a Delhi newspaper, the state government’s response to an RTI query from an alert citizen, Jagjit Singh Walia, shows that:

“ allotted to some of the cabinet ministers are running. 28,000 km the month, or 933 km a day, or for round trips from Gurgaon to Chandigarh, burning more than Rs. 1.82 lakh. Cars allotted to some other ministers over 15,000 km every month on an average…”

Of course, honourable ministers have ‘valid’ reasons. The state Agriculture Minister Om Prakash Dhankar whose car has run 24,360 km in one month, says that “Car usage shows who is working for the public. Our job is to reach out to maximum number of people. I start my day early and travel as much as I can. I have to attend various sabhas, government departments and meet people. There are times when I eat breakfast and lunch while travelling in the car.”

Haryana ministers like Dhankar, always using their cars as office chambers as well as dining rooms because they are ‘always on the run’ since October last (not in bad sense but) to ‘serve’ their electors and to ensure that they get more chances to ‘serve’, must be completely exhausted by now and must be in need of immediate medical care. Unfortunately, they cannot afford to take rest even for a day. Perhaps very soon, they will demand that a fully equipped ambulance with doctors from different disciplines must always follow every such Minister, in the larger public interest. Such an ambulance can be used for afternoon siesta, in public interest of course.

I request Jagjit Singh Walia to send another RTI query to the state government: ‘How many cars carrying officials follow each Minister on the run?’ After all, a minister cannot function without the help of his officials. Walia may also ask whether security guards travel in the Ministers’ vehicles or in separate cars.

Let us hope, with several ministers working so hard, without caring for personal comfort, the growth rate of Haryana would be in double digits.

For the information of  readers, the state Chief Minister does not seem to be equally worried to ‘serve’ the people from mobile office-cum-dining room. The eight cars at his disposal log just 17,000 to 19,000 km a month.

Devendra Narain
January 16, 2016