Congress leaders’ take on GTV
CONGRESS leaders equating the ‘Go to Village’ (GTV) mission to an attempt by the BJP-led government to involve party loyalists, who suffered defeat in the assembly elections, in the governance is unlikely to impress those rural folks who are finally getting an inkling of what transparent governance is all about. The new government understanding the need to directly reach out to the villagers for listening to grievances of the rural poor and take steps to address the genuine issues besetting them under the ‘Go to the Village’ mission is testimony about the vision for bringing uniform development. While the vision is primarily aimed at improving the overall socio-economic condition of the rural populace, such a move has been helpful to the government to measure infrastructure deficits at the village level and get a first-hand account of their suffering. Similar to the Central government leaders acknowledging that the country cannot be called a progressive nation unless people in the north-eastern states join or taste the fruits of development, the mission intents to ensure that all the villagers gain access to basic needs. Though the Congress leaders’ observation that GTV undermines rights and duties of elected members of the local bodies appear to have some substance, the rural population thronging GTV camps en-masse to highlight various problems before the camp officials indicates that the villagers are not at all satisfied with the performance of their representatives. One remarkable feature of the GTV is the firm instructions given to the officials involved that the rural population should not be made to suffer due to official apathy, as had been the norm for the last many years.
When compared to the past governments, wherein secrecy and confidentiality used to be the hallmark of governance, the BJP-led coalition government has been emphasising on clean and transparent administration and GTV is part of the policy to get direct feedbacks on issues confronting the rural population as well as to evolve effective mechanisms to address them. As transparent administration and willingness to entertain public views and suggestions are potent weapons to eradicate the ills of corruption from the system of governance, the GTV has been able to give new hope to the villagers to look forward for pro-active participation in getting themselves a clean and efficient administration. For long, rampant corruption and family-oriented, and in particular person-centric, politics have been choking good governance in the state. To the common man, most politicians have the same characteristics of being insincere, selfish, arrogant, etc. and this is exactly what the new government has been trying to put an end and focus towards clearing all doubtful perceptions. It needs no reminding that corruption-infatuated political parties and politicians have been the bane and antithesis to development. Manipur needs to urgently focus on infrastructure development and ensure that all citizens have easy access to governmental schemes, for which political will to galvanise financial resources and improve infrastructure is inevitable in order to deliver its promise of bringing in uniform and speedy development. That 1,73,217 people have been benefitted (as per official figure) since launch of the GTV in May out of nearly 2.50 lakh enrolled to avail benefits of different schemes is an undeniable fact about the vision of the new government able to generate tremendous interest among the public.