Uttarakhand Assembly Election 2017: BJP must use its 'two engines' to quickly address the state's challenges
After the saffron splash all over the Uttarakhand, BJP is riding a wave of enthusiasm with overflowing confidence. The party is all set to form the government in the state.
After the saffron splash all over the Uttarakhand, BJP is riding a wave of enthusiasm with overflowing confidence. The party is all set to form the government in the state. Meanwhile, the victory of many heavyweights — in the 2017 Assembly election — who can be strong contenders of for ministers' posts can cause trouble during Cabinet formation. The newly formed government must be ready to meet the challenges on various fronts — politically, as well as working on its manifesto that made several promises to the people in the state.
There has been a tradition of creating a balance between Garhwal and Kumaon regions while allocating responsibilities in the government. Saffron is flying not just in the Garhwal region but also in Kumaon. The number of winners with political weight is expected to be almost double that of the number of ministers required for the Cabinet. Ministers from the former Khanduri government, Madan Kaushik, Bishan Singh Chufal, Trivendra singh singh, Harbans Kapoor and Khajan Das, have won the polls. Accommodating the Congress rebels in which a majority registered a victory could pose a big challenge. Harak Singh Rawat, Yash pal Arya, Kunwar Pranav Singh Champion and Subodh Uniyal are strong contenders for Cabinet positions.
Many black horses of the party who never faced defeat, such as Ganesh Joshi, Rajesh Shukla and Yateeshwaranand who defeated Harish Rawat can claim good positions in government. After losing the battle, Ajay Bhatt's future is hazy, but he is being considered as a strong chief ministerial candidate. BJP has also been picking holes in the Congress' rule in last five years in the state. The many pitfalls in planning and policy-making during the Congress rule have finally taken a toll on the party. BJP has targeted Congress regularly for its failure on many fronts during campaigning. And now that BJP has registered a landslide victory with a whopping majority, there is a long list of challenges that need to be addressed by the BJP government.
It is, indeed, the first time in the history of Uttarakhand that a party has emerged with two thirds of the majority, with having a Centre run by the same party. Narendra Modi used this rhetoric in his campaign frequently — talking about the need for "two engines" to take the state out of under-development.
The BJP must also works towards executing interest-free loans and scholarships for higher education, establishing health resorts and yoga based centres for medical tourism, payments to sugarcane farmers within 15 days, increments in allowances of Aanganwadi workers, establishing fast-track courts to curb crimes against women. Adding to this list are bringing improvement in the condition of women rehabilitation centres and linking the Madrasas to modern and computer-based education. To fulfill all these promises, the BJP has to travel an extra mile in terms of arranging funds and improving revenues. Central government schemes can pave the way for easy loans from the World Bank and ADB, but providing free laptops, smartphones to high achieving students, implementing welfare plans for government employees is likely to mount great pressure on the forthcoming governement.
Now, BJP has two engines but path is not that easy; Uttarakhand has a shortage of funds and it can pose to be a hurdle in terms of fulfilling log-jammed schemes meant for the people of the state. The availability of two engines is sure only up until 2019, which means that BJP has only two years to meet all the challenges, especially the promises made through its vision document, including its ambitious plans of 'All-weather char-dham route' and Rishikesh Karnprayag railway line that is set to be completed in coming two years.
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