Nagpur: Once a politician always a politician. Politicians never change colours when it comes to corruption. The proverbial exception is present, conspicuously. In Maharashtra, money and corruption are ruining the land, crooked politicians betray the same people who vote them to power, pocketing the profits. Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build bridges even when there are no rivers. The corrupt politicians make the other ten percent look bad. They own everything. They own all the prime lands, they own and control the corporations. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else. Be it Congress or NCP or BJP.
Forget the overall development of Maharashtra, the Tribal Welfare in the state is at the bottom of any Government’s plan of things. The facts and figures adequately prove that corruption is thriving in Tribal Department. In the present dispensation, Department is headed by BJP’s Cabinet Minister Vishnu Sawra. Earlier during the Congress-NCP days, this department internally had so many fights among the party leaders itself. NCP’s controversial Babanrao Pachpute, during his tenure as Cabinet Minister, had faced a lot of flak from his then State party head Madhukar Pichad. Pichad left no stone unturned to remove Pachpute from the post and grab himself the opportunity to lead the department. He played the media card, the calling himself tribal card, and ultimately party superiors had to grant Pichad his last serving opportunity. On the other hand, the “war” on the “percentage” issue continued to be waged. The suppliers or manufacturers have to shell out percentages to the Government for getting the tenders passed.
Interestingly, the “percentage” itself had led to a showdown between NCP’s Pachpute and Congress’s Rajendra Gavit who was the MOS of the department at that time. The war of “who has the upper hand” was even fought by the private secretaries of these Ministers. When Pachpute thought he was the “winner” in a particular tender he immediately faced a flurry of adverse situations such as complaint letters, explanations to the Chief Secretary or at times even at the Cabinet meetings…. The RTIs were the ultimate weapons. But the potent weapons were again used only for making money. As per sources, all checkmating games between the two ministers led only to downfall of the vital Tribal Department and the breed of “dalaals” dotted the department.
But the scenario changes dramatically and politically as well. The new government is in saddle with the promise of “Achhe Din”. This “Achhe Din” was must for tribal, backward and economically weak sections of the society. But a tender notice in newspaper recently published by the Department pointedly shattered the “Achhe Din” hopes. The tender pertained to purchase of various materials and a new thing, since last 3 years, know as “Test Series.” The tender was rigged. The facts and figures point out the direction.
To expose the “rigged” charge, the tender copy was taken to one of the sources in a huge educational material supply company for his scrutiny. He is also one of the suppliers to the Government. But the source dropped a bombshell by saying that he has stopped dealing with Tribal Department/ Government due to the existence of nasty mess. Elaborating his disgust, he revealed some “finer points” on the department functioning. First, he said, that since last 4 years a lot of syllabus has changed and many amendments have been passed to smooth-en the whole process. So with change in syllabus, there should be change in the purchases of governments for the poor tribals. But it is nowhere. In fact, he said, the buying has increased. Isn’t shocking? A small example is that of test series…item No. 3 in the tender. Government started this procedure of buying “Test Series” materials since last 3 years…Now when government is providing “Guides” to all the tribal students why on earth do we need test series? It is government’s mandate to pass each and every child from Standard 1 to 8. For 9th and 10th class, after having purchased “Guides” why do you require “Test Series”? But it is not the end. As per the source, the cost of one set of “Test Series” should be maximum Rs 100. However, the Government buys one set at Rs 800. Appalled? Isn’t it rigged? The source said that his company will supply same material (“Test Series”) what is required in the Tender at a cost which is 8 times cheaper. What’s the difference BJP has brought? NCP and Congress were at it time and again. Why this contract or tender (even after e-tendering made compulsory) gets awarded to a company from Pune? And the moot question is: Who decides the requirements of these Tribals? Once purchased, who ensures supplies are going to last person. Not a single sane soul! The department has got a non-controversial IAS officer now as Secretary. Let’s see if he can turn the department shining or even he gropes in the dark affairs of the system.
– Rajeev ranjan kushwaha (rajeev.nagpurto