Monday, January 14, 2008

Karnataka BJP gets it wrong

BJP is in poll gear in Karnataka. It is making popular promises to gain power. While the Gujarat power model was much appreciated, the BJP does not seem to have learnt anything from there. This is not the first time any party has made such a populist promise. We've had Congress make such promises many times in the past. AP is an example. The BJP-Shiv Sena coalition in Maharashtra did that before along with other states like TN. We've seen that such promises aren't easy to keep.

This is a retrograde move by BJP. It will surely put strain on the state in keeping this promise. The state leadership is shortsighted & cannot see anything beyond seeking power. The announcement seems to have been made keeping mind BESCOM's recent performance. How far will this be sustainable remains debatable.

This will no doubt be abused by rich farmers thus benefiting them more than the poor farmer. Instead the governments should be focusing on curbing losses by stopping electricity theft, recollecting past dues, regulating meters etc. While some steps in the right direction are being taken, this latest announcement is not. It may undo all the recent good by straining the finances. Besides, where will the money come from? Of course the tax payers. It is time that we people started holding our leaders accountable for our money & took part in the process. It's our state/country after all. Once the electricity board is under financial burden, talks of privatisation will begin.

The states should be working towards the larger interests of the nation. Distributing free power is not such a thing. Karnataka needs strong local leadership that will take it forward towards prosperity. Most of the leaders have sought to exploit the development in Bangalore & do little more. Former PM H. D. Devegowda's party was in power & he had a chance to serve his home state. But sadly, like we have all seen, his greed has cost the people of Karnataka much rather than benefiting from him. Let's hope that Karnataka finds some strong leaders with foresight that keep the interests of the people (along with the nation) in mind & give them a progressive, stable government.

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