New Delhi: Cabinet Secretary KM Chandrashekhar, has had some strong opinion setout for ministries. They've been told not to indiscriminately namegovernment projects after Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi.
In a letter to all Union ministers, the Cabinet Secretary said:
"A number of programmes under execution in the country are named afterleaders particularly Indira Gandhi and Rajiv Gandhi, former PrimeMinisters. The practice has become widespread and indiscriminate. Theimpact of many of these programmes is not always as it ought to be, andas such many of them do not merit such association." (Read: Cabinet Secretary's letter to the ministers)
From a crèche for working mothers, to rural electrification, tosubsidised housing, there are about a dozen Central government runschemes named after Indira and Rajiv.
But if one takes into account welfare schemes run by the state governments, the figure is many times over.
In August 2009, an RTI application revealed more 450 government projects and schemes are named after the Gandhi-Nehru family.
The Congress, however, defended naming projects after the Gandhi-Nehru family.
"If you at look at history, from 1946 to 1964, Pandit Nehru was thePrime Minister. Again from 1966 to 1984, Mrs Indira Gandhi was the PM.She was succeeded by Rajiv Gandhi, and all of them have contributed tonation building. Yes, their names should be associated with projectsthat have gravitas," said Manish Tiwari, Congress Spokesperson.
Apart from an element of sycophancy, there's perhaps also some politicsin naming the developmental projects after Indira and Rajiv Gandhi.Many of the centrally sponsored schemes are actually implemented by thestate governments. If these schemes do well, state governments want totake the credit. So by naming after a Congress leader, the Centre wantsit known, it was a Congress government which first thought of such ascheme.