These days, the sixth-floor office of Industries Minister Narayan Rane at Mantralaya wears a deserted look. Except for a few staffers, hardly anybody has turned up at the office ever since the sulking minister decided to resign on July 21.
When the CM is asked about the status of Rane’s resignation, he says the leader from Konkan is still a part of his Cabinet. But, Rane is not ready to attend office or sign documents or files pertaining to his ministry. He
has also stopped attending Cabinet meetings.
It’s high time that the powers that be realise that such issues are not just about them. This issue is not just about the CM or Rane or even the Congress party; what’s at stake is the discharge of official duties. As per the rules, whenever a department becomes headless, the CM takes over and keeps it going. But, in this case, Rane is technically still a part of the government a part that refuses to function.
And it isn’t just the industries department that is suffering, but also the ports and the employment and self-employment departments. Important files and documents of these departments are piling up, with no one to take decisions on them.
At a time when quick decisions are expected on industrial investment and infrastructural development, the current standoff cannot be allowed to last.
The Congress leadership must take a decision on this impasse. The government is run for the people and not for political parties.
The party can dilly-dally on matters concerning its internal affairs, but not about the functioning of the government.
Even from the party’s point of view, the impasse is not a good thing, as keeping Rane on tenterhooks is leading to Congress’ image taking a beating.
The Congress may be under the impression that delaying the decision would reduce Rane’s clout and nuisance value, but it is forgetting that governance, and thus the people of Maharashtra, are suffering.