Disasters can become a learning experience. Think of irrigation department in Madhya Pradesh, and one is forced to think of Arvind Joshi, an IAS officer sacked after an income tax raid on his house yielded Rs three crore in cash. Joshi was heading the water resources department in MP at the time of the raid eight years ago.
“That was the turning point,” says Radheshyam Julaniya, additional chief secretary of water resources department. The senior IAS officer, known to be brutally frank, ads: “If Arvind Joshi had not happened, things might not have changed so fast.”
When Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan hand-picked an unwilling Julaniya to head the tainted department in the aftermath of the scandal, the situation was not exactly rosy.
The emergence of a radical maverick organisation as a political force in western Madhya Pradesh has worried both the BJP and the Congress, the main contenders for the throne in the upcoming MP assembly election. Jai Adivasi Yuva Shakti (JAYS), an organisation of tribal youths, has thrown its hat in the ring.
Jays has announced that its members will contest not only all the 47 Vidhan Sabha seats reserved for scheduled tribes but also fight from 30 other constituencies with sizeable number of Adivasi voters.
Jays has been active in the tribal areas, particularly western region, for some time now. The success of its recent rallies in small tribal towns and the outpouring of support from youth have caught the media’s imagination. Continue reading “Spoilsports of 2018 election”