Defence Ministry needs stability, it is not a part-time job

Defence Ministry needs stability, it is not a part-time job: The government should end this short-term solution and appoint a full-fledged minister...

Part-time politics 
This refers to your editorial “Not a part-time job” (Business Standard, March 16). The absence of transparent and efficient succession plans affects the smooth functioning of not only big corporates and large organizations in public and private sector or government departments, but also all top level assignments where political decision-making is involved.  

Recent instances of this category include the shifting of Pranab Mukherjee from North block to Rashtrapathi Bhavan and shuttling of Manohar Parikkar between Panaji and New Delhi. First, such maneuvering gives an impression that jobs as legislators and ministers are not full-term and full-time ones where the incumbents become accountable and answerable for what they do during a pre-decided tenure of their appointment.

Here we find legislators going back and acting in films or anchoring TV programmes, central ministers concentrating more on solving problems in respective political parties at state level or devoting 24X 7 in electioneering work when elections are announced. The present arrangement gives bureaucrats an upper hand in governance which affects
democratic functioning of government.

While no conduct rules can be enforced on public figures, there needs to be some self-regulation to ensure that individuals holding public offices do justice to their jobs and continuity in incumbency ensures accountability.

The above situation demands maintenance of a ‘talent pool’ by political parties to ensure smooth succession plans as and when need arises. This will also help the prospective candidates prepare themselves for the assignments they are being groomed. Perhaps, time is ripe for political parties also to ‘recruit’ candidates from the market instead of totally depending on the present catchment area comprising ground level workers, students’ and trade union leaders, lawyers and family members of present leaders.
M G Warrier, Mumbai


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