Shibu Soren missing from state secretariat

November 13th, 2008 - 2:59 pm ICT by IANS  

Ranchi, Nov 13 (IANS) Chief minister since Aug 27 and only 15 days in the state secretariat. Tongues have begun wagging in Jharkhand over how Chief Minister Shibu Soren seems busier in transferring officials and inaugurating district blocks rather than getting down to the nitty gritty of governance.According to officials in the chief minister’s office (CMO), Soren has attended office in the state secretariat for just 15 days in the two-and-a-half-months since he took over. He prefers to see files at home or at the CMO attached to his official residence.

In the weeks that he has been in power, Soren has transferred 13 Indian Administrative Service (IAS) officials, 20 sub-divisional officials and 63 block development officers (BDO). He has also inaugurated more than 20 new block offices.

A block office is the lowest in the administrative system pyramid. The BDO plans and implements development schemes in villages and resolves issues related to land.

Jharkhand has only 148 BDOs for 212 blocks, located about 20-30 km from each other.

The opposition seems to have got the ammunition it has been looking for with Soren’s absence from office.

“Soren does not seem to be serious regarding development of the state. He hardly sits in the secretariat. We are not against new blocks but Soren should ensure that BDOs are appointed through service commissions by creating posts,” former chief minister and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Arjun Munda told IANS.

Opposition leaders feel that Soren is transferring officials with an eye to the upcoming Lok Sabha election.

In the current financial year, the Jharkhand government has been able to spend only 33 percent of its development funds.

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