I vote for Raman Singh
All of them had a personality and aura of their own. But somehow my vote went for the less sophisticated, less sung, Hindi speaking Raman Singh, chief minister of Chhattisgarh, as three chief ministers shared their vision at the HT Leadership Summit.
What an irony! Even his own party is so smitten by his Gujarat counterpart that they rarely speak about his success story.
Of course, the other two chief ministers –Sheila Dikshit and Prithviraj Chavan –came out as more suave and sophisticated, but it was Raman Singh’s conviction that stood out. An Ayurvedic doctor, he looked to have the right prescription for his state and its ailments!
He spoke after Sheila Dikshit, who talked about a shining Delhi and the metro rail, and stuck to problems of his own state which he dubbed as ‘very different than the national capital’.
Singh said, “Our main problems are countering Naxalite violence and poverty alleviation.” With a growth rate of 10-11 percent, with migration levels falling from millions to barely thousands, with core sectors like steel and cement growing leaps and bounds, with total electrification of the state and its rural pockets, he had so much to share and claim.
His experience of serving the three tiers of governance – from local to the state to central – was clearly reflected in his approach to the problems. Imagine airdropping somewhere in Chhattisgarh along with the chief secretary and finding answers to people’s problems there itself. He does all that.
He said, “Some of our decisions have come from the ground itself.”
That’s the real concept of government at your doorstep, a nomenclature so often used by successive chief ministers in Uttar Pradesh while they were locking themselves within the confines of their secured environs. When did a UP chief minister go to a village, sat there for a day to solve problems the local way?
It needs guts for any CM to say that he is confident that his state will be counted among the top three states of the country.
It’s time the states learn from each other to provide greater benefit to the people.