Majhi Govt Has Its Task Cut Out

Mohan Majhi's new government started well with initial actions like opening Lok Seva Bhavan to journalists and Lord Jagannath temple to the public. However, issues arose with delayed portfolio allocations and excessive bureaucratic control, suggesting need for democratic reforms and better leadership distribution.

Odisha CM Mohan Majhi

The first 24 hours after the swearing in went just fine. The first cabinet meeting – without portfolios allocated to the newly inducted ministers – took place within a couple of hours and approved the four major poll promises of the party. The gates of the Lok Seva Bhavan were opened for journalists - after over four years – the same evening. And all four gates of the Lord Jagannath temple in Puri were thrown open to the public the next morning – again after four years. Mohan Majhi, the new Chief Minister, did the rounds of the statues of Odia icons and paid floral tributes to them, in the company of his two deputies - Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo and Pravati Parida - the morning after. The optics were unexceptionable.

But having begun well, the new BJP government has faltered at the very first hurdle. First, the allocation of portfolios was delayed by three full days. And when it finally came, the most important portfolio – finance – was conspicuously missing in the list of departments allocated to ministers, requiring the release of a revised list by Raj Bhavan within an hour of the first. This was an eminently avoidable embarrassment, presumably caused by lack of homework and attention to detail.