Kerala govt draws flak for sending team to study Gujarat CM dashboard

The Left government’s decision was criticised by the Congress and the Muslim League while the BJP welcomed the decision.

Pinarayi Vijayan
Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan. | File photo: PTI

The Pinarayi Vijayan government in Kerala is getting flak from the Opposition after it sent a high-level official team to Gujarat to study a dashboard system.

The CPI(M)-led LDF government’s delegation includes Kerala Chief Secretary V P Joy and his staff officer Umesh N S K. It is in the BJP-ruled state to attend a presentation on the Gujarat Chief Minister’s dashboard system that enables the CM’s Office to access data from all e-governance applications down to taluk level.

The Left government’s decision was criticised by the Congress and the Muslim League while the BJP welcomed the decision.

Attacking the state government over the issue, state Congress chief K Sudhakaran sought to know whether the CPI(M)-led government was planning to emulate in Kerala the model followed in Gujarat, “a breeding ground of extreme Hindutva ideologies which is soaked in the blood of the minorities.”

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He alleged that the Kerala officials’ visit to Gujarat should be seen as part of the expansion of relations between the BJP and the CPI(M) at the level of governance.

The personal relationship between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and CM Vijayan was the factor that motivated the latter to send a team to study the “Gujarat model”, he claimed.

Sudhakaran also alleged that an understanding has been reached between the CPI(M) and the BJP at the national level.

BJP state president K Surendran said CM Vijayan decided to send the Chief Secretary to study the dashboard system there as he realised that “the Gujarat model is the right model”.

In a statement, he urged Vijayan to abandon the “failed Kerala model” and implement the successful Gujarat model in the southern state.

“The efficiency of the Government of Gujarat in project implementation, the performance of government departments and the progress made through the implementation of the dashboard system should be recognised and implemented in Kerala as well,” Surendran said.

Defending the state government’s decision, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said politics should not become a hindrance in studying new things. CPI is a key partner in the ruling CPI(M)-led LDF.

Indian Union Muslim League leader and senior MLA P K Kunhalikutty said there was nothing that Kerala needs to learn from Gujarat.

Instead of sending a team of officials to Gujarat, a team from that state should visit Kerala to study “the Kerala Model”, he said.

Gujarat officials described the dashboard as a “first of its kind” operation, incorporating over 3,000 performance indicators from e-governance applications used in at least 20 different government sectors on a daily basis. It essentially gives the CMO a window to the administrative machinery from the state to the village level. Over the past two years, the dashboard has proved to be a key tool in managing the Covid situation — from data on case counts and relief measures to feedback from Covid patients who were discharged, according to The Indian Express.

“Also, the CM can use the dashboard, which has been installed at his official residence, to view live feed from CCTV cameras from government hospitals. From the launch of the vaccination campaign, regular feedback from beneficiaries was taken,” an official told the newspaper.

Gujarat Education Minister Jitu Vaghani said many states had visited Gujarat to study the dashboard.

“It is good that the team from Kerala is visiting the CM Dashboard tomorrow. Officials from many states have already visited Gujarat to study this initiative,” Vaghani told the newspaper.

“The state and its people have benefited from the dashboard in every sector, be it health, education or agriculture. Various other initiatives taken by different departments of Gujarat should also be seen, studied, and implemented by other states,” he added.

(With inputs from Agencies)

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