Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patanaik, in his continuous tenure, has thrown away as many as 24 ministers from his cabinet. Every time he jettisons a minister, the general public is made to understand that, that was necessary for cleansing the administration. This time, the impression is also not different.
As always, this time also, the ruling party does not know as to why some of its members are expelled from the council of ministers and why some others have been inducted into. The ruling party, as a party running a government, has never evaluated the functioning of its members in the cabinet, has never prepared a list of members to be dropped from the cabinet and members to be inducted. So, there is no democratic exercise in the reshuffle, no application of collective wisdom of the party that rules in the reshuffle. It is clearly an undemocratic act and arbitrary.
True, the Governor appoints a Chief Minister and on his advice, appoints other members of the Council of Ministers. Hence some say that the CM (in the central level, the Prime Minister) has the prerogative to form or reshuffle the Council of Ministers. This prerogative precipitates political anarchy when used without collective decision of the Party on which behalf the Council of Ministers is to run the administration. People give their mandate to a party to form a government; they never elect ministers to form the government. Hence, it is the party, which obtains the mandate of the people to form the government, must have to decide as to who of its members should be appointed ministers and, if necessary, who of the ministers should relinquish office. If this is not done, anarchy shall creep in. Knowing that their position as ministers depends in personal pleasure of the CM or PM, not on collective wisdom of their party, the ministers shall turn sycophants and instead of adherence to principles and probity, they shall compete with each other in complying with every corrupt and anti-people design of their boss.
This is happening.
And, this is why Orissa has a very incompetent, anti-people government. Earlier in these pages i had noted how ‘supremo’ syndrome had cost a group of Naveen’s ministers their jobs. I repeat the same in respect to fellows that have been thrown out in the current reshuffle.
As regards the new ministers taken in, it is discernible that a good many better persons than them, are left behind.
If the ruling BJD not been suffering from the ‘supremo’ syndrome, it could have used its collective wisdom in deciding who to go and who to stay in the cabinet. And, then, some of the jettisoned ministers might have continued to render their service to the state as members of the cabinet and some of the newly inducted ones might never have bagged the chance to desecrate democracy; because, better members of the party might have been chosen to serve as ministers.
Hence, this much can be said that, the cabinet reshuffle is meaningless, a malfeasant act of an autocrat in control over a pack of sycophants called a political party. It has no relevance to betterment of Orissa.