A newly appointed chief minister swoops into government offices, pulls up officers for their tardy work and hammers out orders and suspensions against them. That was the plot of the Bollywood film “Nayak” starring Anil Kapoor.
This is now a reality in Assam and West Bengal, where over the past week, state employees, generally perceived as laidback, corrupt and inefficient, have been shocked by the surprise visits of ministers.
Assam’s education minister Himanta Biswa Sarma visited several directorates under his ministry, carefully examined old files and suspended an employee for being inefficient in Guwahati on Wednesday.
That was days after the head of a state-run hospital was suspended in Kolkata after a surprise visit from mercurial West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee.
The crackdowns were extensively covered in local media, earning them brownie points from a citizenry who have often encountered countless delays, signs of inefficiency and blatant calls for bribes from India’s bloated bureaucracy.