A two-member team led by Kerala chief secretary V P Joy on Wednesday left for Gujarat capital, Gandhinagar, to acquire firsthand knowledge of the state government’s much-touted e-governance initiative CM Dashboard.
The Communist Party of India (Marxist) or CPI (M)-led government issued an order on April 26 stating that the chief secretary and another IAS officer, NSK Umesh, staff officer to the chief secretary, will be going to Gujarat for two days (April 27-29) to study details of the e-governance initiative.
The trip has sparked a political debate in the state as the Opposition Congress questioned the move while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) commended it and “asked Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan to follow Gujarat model for good governance.”
“It is part of a give and takes between CPI(M) and BJP. We all know the fate of inquiries conducted by central agencies in the state, including gold smuggling and SNC Lavalin cases. The CM always says Kerala is number one, then why is he going to Gujarat,” said state Congress president K Sudhakaran.
But CPI secretary Kanam Rajendran played down the trip, saying, “Officials used to visit other states to learn about new schemes and projects, and there was no point in making it an issue.”
Interestingly, in 2009, the CPI (M) expelled its MP A P Abdullahkutty for praising the Gujarat model of development and then CM Narendra Modi. In 2013, when labour minister Shibu Baby John visited Gujarat, the party criticised him severely and threatened agitation against him, forcing CM Oommen Chandy to seek an explanation from him. In 2010, the CPI (M) had shot down a proposal to make legendary actor Amitabh Bachchan a brand ambassador of the state tourism because he endorsed Gujarat also. The turnaround raised many questions, but the party brushed them aside.
It is learnt that during his last visit to Delhi in March, Prime Minister Modi had told Pinarayi Vijayan about the Gujarat government’s tracking system of project implementation. Vijayan later evinced interest in it.
In Gujarat, the CM Dashboard was developed in 2019 when Vijay Rupani was the chief minister. According to the initiative, the CM will get minute details of government projects and initiatives in just one click, and he can suggest improvements and monitor ongoing projects. People aware of the developments said the main feature of CM Dashboard is real-time performance check of various departments and target setting, and he will have an overall view of all departments.