Of horse trading, holiday and no governance

Jaipur, June 9 : With all Rajasthan’s BJP legislators and ministers including the Chief Minister locked out in a hotel on Ajmer Road since late Wednesday to bar any kind of horsetrading for the Rajya Sabha polls on June 11, the government seems to be on a leisurely summer holiday.

So for the next three days, there would be no decisions on as many a few hundred files as each minister is supposed to be deciding at least 30 files each day. No public hearings are being undertaken by ministers to ease the common people’s grievances. As a result, the bureaucrats are taking it easy too in the hot scorching weather.

One of the candidates and union minister Venkiah Naidu is here in Jaipur for election day.

Although the official line is that all MLAs are on a training camp, the actual story is that all the legislators would be herded together to reach the Rajasthan Legislative Assembly premises on June 11, to cast their votes on Saturday. Legislators are not being allowed to talk on phones or even their relatives.

The Rajya Sabha polls are complex and complicated to understand. While Lok Sabha members are voted directly by the people, their Upper House counterparts are voted by the elected representatives of the state Assemblies (MLAs). It is important to note members of Parliament (MPs) and members of legislative councils (MLCs) do not vote in Rajya Sabha polls.

Political observers say may be the ministers are actually enjoying the short holiday, having to only listen, hear and enjoy the endless rounds of chai, lunch and dinner. It will give them a chance to get to know the political pulse of each other, which way the wind is moving, the murmurs of the disgruntled ones and the chance to score brownie points in front of the tall leaders of their party.

Senior MLA and former minister Ghanshyam Tiwari, a known Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje rebel, has refused to join the MLAs and said only Raje and state president Ashok Parnami can explain his absence from the meet.

But those disillusioned with politics and politicians are questioning the meaning of real democracy if horsetrading is order of the day and MLAs have to shielded from any kind of enticement, be it money, position, power.

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