It was on January 18 when the President of India proclaimed imposition of President’s Rule in Jharkhand, transforming Governor Syed Ahmed from a figurehead to the de-facto ruler. Governor Ahmed, however, perhaps knew from the beginning that things were in bad shape at the ground level.
So he started at a comfortable pace without severely challenging government officers known for their affiliations to political masters rather than the work assigned. The Governor has only gradually stepped up the heat, which has yielded him a mix bag of results.
It was exactly after two months after the date of proclamation that the Governor perhaps thought time was ripe for a reality check. So on March 18, when Governor Ahmed went for a surprise visit to Raatu block, just 10 kms from the state capital Ranchi, to see if governance at the grassroots has picked or was still in the deep freeze; he was in for a rude shock.
The Block Development Officer, Ravindra Kumar and Circle Officer Monika Rani Tuti were missing from their respective offices. Many rooms in the block office were still locked at 11.30 AM on Monday. The medical officer too was missing in the Raatu Health Centre while the police station and the child development project office were in a mess. Next day, the Governor’s office issued orders for suspension of 11 officers. Ahmed of late has been unsparing. On March 12 too - just a day before the Lok Sabha ratified the Presidential proclamation - the Governor had ordered suspension of Superintending Engineer RN Raman and Executive Engineer Rakesh Prasad of the electricity department for not turning in for a review meeting.
With both Houses of Parliament already approving the Presidential proclamation, Jharkhand stares at a prolonged spell of President’s Rule. But, with elections set to happen in next six months, Governor Ahmed has his task cut out.
His two advisors, former Union Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta and ex-CRPF director General K Vijay Kumar too are men in hurry to make things happen quickly in Jharkhand. Thanks to his political acumen and vast experience, Governor Ahmed is keeping his ear to the ground while trying make things happen in Jharkhand, otherwise known as a failed state.
If President’s rule has delivered some good news, the credit lies with Ahmed’s backroom boys: Human Resource Principal Secretary Devendra Kumar Tiwari who single-handedly ensured proper utilisation of huge central funds that were left unused for years, besides making decisive efforts to decentralise decision making in his department. Principal Home Secretary-cum-Vigilance Commissioner Jyoti Bhramar Tubid turned his office into an active accountability task force with the vigilance bureau coming down hard on tainted men including former JMM Minister Nalin Soren - who was minister till January this year and now absconding in a Rs.200 crore purchase scam. Source