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People not too happy with performance

K.N. Venkatasubba Rao


`The onus for the state of affairs lies equally on the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party'

BANGALORE: Lack of vision, no definite programmes for development, politicking in the name of the poor, motivated controversies, populist measures to retain power and moderate progress in certain areas mark the performance of the coalition Government in the past year in the popular perception.

On the occasion of the Government completing one year in office, The Hindu spoke to various people to elicit their views on the performance of the Government.

S.V. Veena Balasubramanyam, a homemaker, said, "I am only concerned with education." The decision to introduce the trimester scheme is a blunder. May be it helps children to memorise what is required at a particular juncture. But, in the long run, the scheme will prove detrimental to individual growth as it discourages comprehensive thinking. (The trimester system was introduced by the previous Government when B.K. Chandrashekar held the portfolio concerned).

`Of no help to anyone'

Anne Gowda, a chemist who lives in ISRO Layout, said that the Government claims to be working for rural and poor people. But in reality it is not helping any section of society.

The introduction of value added tax (VAT) was the right decision at the wrong time. The Government should have introduced it after ensuring the creation of adequate infrastructure.

H.G. Somashekhara Rao, writer, stage artiste and a former Deputy General Manger of Canara Bank said the Government lacks vision. It is good to extend farm loans at 6 per cent interest rate and provide rice at Rs. 3 a kg for the poor. But even these measures cannot absolve the Government of its mishandling of the naxalite menace and indifference to cultural activities. The achievements of the Government are not impressive at all, said Mr. Rao.

N. Manu Chakravarthy, literary critic, said the failure of the Government can be seen in the escalation of naxalite activities, in sticking to existing policies on education that have no relevance to real academic concern, and the entire political process being exploited by both corporate and communal forces. The onus for the state of affairs lies equally on the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party.

With regard to naxalite activities, both the ruling and the Opposition parties have viewed the six-decade-old human problem as a law and order question and not as a burning socio-economic problem of tribal and other people directly related to environmental and developmental issues, he said.

M.R. Rakshit, English lecturer in a private college and noted mridrangam player, said the existence of the Government is hardly felt by the common man.

While the Congress is clamouring for urban development, the JD(S) is keen on fortifying its rural base and the BJP is obsessed with bringing down the existing semblance of administration.

"In the light of the drab administration and the absence of an effective Opposition, whatever the Government claims about its achievements and the Opposition's criticism sounds hollow," he said.

H.G. Dattatreya, retired Wing Commander and veteran artiste asked, "Can political parties known for their incompatible ideologies coming together to share power for selfish reasons be called a Government?"

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