SHILLONG, April 22 � Meghalaya Chief Minister Mukul Sangma has come a full circle, completing a year in office, but his �360 degree performance in 365 days,� raise questions whether he is circling to nowhere.
Sangma celebrated his 46th birthday and completion of his one-year tenure in office by releasing a booklet of his government�s achievements, titled � 360 degree performance in 365 days here yesterday. Critics say the title figuratively illustrates the Chief Minister moving in confused circles and heading nowhere.
Sangma after taking charge 365 days ago promised change. �Change is the only constant,� he quipped to everyone�s attention because Meghalaya was going through a period of socio-economic stagnation before him.
A year on his promise of bringing about change in the social sector, especially in rural fringes of the State, remains largely unfulfilled. One example is the tardy Public Distribution System and the scam-hit National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.
PDS wheat has been cent percent diverted for years. The quality of other food grains distributed through PDS in Meghalaya has remained inconsumable.
Sangma even after repeated demands from the public and NGOs has only promised, but so far not been able to bring about qualitative and quantitative changes in the PDS.
The much-talked about education and mining policies drafted before Sangma took charge is waiting Cabinet approval.
The controversial elevation of legislators to the rank and status of Chief Ministers has remained unchanged, although Sangma promised to do away with such unhealthy political largesse. Still, there are four legislators enjoying the rank and status of a Chief Minister.
What Sangma can take credit from are the Central projects that the State Government is implementing. The much- needed widening of the Guwahati-Shillong road is underway. The construction of the Nongstoin-Tura road is another project that people can take heart from.
The utilisation of 100 per cent fund from the Planning Commission is another aspect that Sangma can take credit from. In a press conference, Sangma said a committee has been formed to draft a Bill to enable social auditing of all State Government projects.
This, he said, would help check corruption, a welcome news for the people. But, at the release of the booklet at Hotel Pinewood, several senior legislators from the Congress and coalition partners abstained, unhappy with the Chief Minister�s unilateral style and functioning.
Sangma, before he took charge, promised he would take everyone into confidence and take collective decisions, a promise legislators and Ministers say he never kept and hence are demanding his ouster.