The first day of the Jan Sampark Abhiyaan or the Public Relations Exercise of the MPCC saw a disinterested Forest Minister Dr. Patangarao Kadam hearing the issues of the very few citizens who trailed in the Congress’s party office at Nariman Point. Deputy Editor Sana Warsia was present during the janta darbaar and reports the first day feel has given a maha flop start to the Congress party’s Jansampark Abhiyaan. There couldn’t have been a more poor response to the Maharashtra Pradesh Congress Committee’s much – hyped Jan Sampark Abhiyaan that was inaugurated at the hands of Chief Minister Ashok Chavan as the first official day of the campaign saw a lukewarm response. The Minister present was Forest Minister Dr. Patangrao Kadam. Considering that the drive is being conducted at a state level and is suppose to give opportunities to citizens of all over the state to flock to the Congress HQ in Mumbai to meet a Minister in person, the first day was a picture of anything but this. The numbers of citizens who arrived to meet a disinterested Forest Minister Dr. Patangrao Kadam was pitiable. In trademark government like style, the minister was seen receiving applications of the residents and ordering it to be passed on to the respective departments of the state. Just how serious or keen the Minister was to hear public issues brought to his attention during this PR exercise was evident in his vague reply that he gave when asked about the number of applications received and the major problems discussed. On almost every question that was asked from the minister, be it the regularization of constructions on forest land or the ambitious Mangrove Wetland Centres in Bhandup and Navi Mumbai, the minister tossed the responsibility on the Centre. So, apart from waiting for the Centre’s decision, what is the State Forest Department, under the headship of Dr. Patangrao Kadam doing? The minister said that they plan to increase the forest cover in the state by planting 10 crore trees in the next two months. There is no denying that the Congress’s dynamic duo Chief Minister Ashok Chavan and MPCC Chief Manicrao Thakre have started the drive with the sole aim of making it a successful PR exercise ahead of MCGM polls. However if the first day of the Congress’s janta darbaar was a peek, then the drive will turn out to be a major disappointment as far as serving the interest of the common man is concerned. With cameraperson Vinayak Dalvi, Sana Warsia for NMTV News.
November 18, 2009