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Updated: July 1, 2013 01:00 IST

Government proposes, UN disposes; Chandy wins

Nidhi Surendranath
Comment (18)   ·   print   ·   T  T  
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. File Photo
The Hindu
Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy. File Photo

Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, who recently received an award from the United Nations on behalf of the Chief Minister’s office, was actually nominated for the award by his own government.

The rules of nomination for the United Nations Public Service Award clearly state that self-nominations — “when the institution being nominated and the institution making the nomination are the same” – are not accepted. But the Chief Minister’s staff insists that the office and the government both headed by Oommen Chandy would count as completely independent entities.

“The award was for the Chief Minister’s office, while the nomination was made by the Kerala government, which is a third party,” said P.T. Chacko, Mr. Chandy’s press secretary.

The United Nations gives away its Public Service Awards to programmes and organisations in member countries under five categories.

The office of the Chief Minister took out large advertisements in newspapers across the State on the eve of what the ad claimed was ‘Kerala’s hour of honour’ – the Chief Minister’s office receiving the United Nations Public Service Awards for 2013. The award was seen as a global recognition for Mr. Chandy’s mass contact programme, which received over 5 lakh complaints.

Though the Chief Minister’s office claims that Mr. Chandy was the first Chief Minister from the country to receive the honour, programmes in many other States of the country have received the award before. Its previous recipients include the Aarogyam scheme of a District Health Society of Uttar Pradesh, a drinking water supply programme of the government of Gujarat, ‘e-Procurement’ project of the government of Andhra Pradesh, and projects in Nagaland, and Delhi. The awards for these States were received by programme heads and not the Chief Ministers.

“No government, though, has made a celebration out of it like the Chandy government has,” said P. Rajeeve, MP.

Political leaders also did not miss the irony of the fact that Mr. Chandy’s office received an award for ‘Preventing and Combating Corruption in Public Service’ at Bahrain when his office was facing accusations of corruption at home.

“He received the award when the Chief Minister’s office is itself a centre of corruption,” said Mr. Rajeeve. “Keeping aside the possibility of Chandy’s involvement, there is clear evidence to show that his staff have been involved in corruption,” he said.

“The Chief Minister’s office is a total mess,” said T.M. Thomas Isaac, MLA. “The mass contact programme is a failure. The Chief Minister’s time is devoted to running these petty things that he does not have time to look after other affairs of the State that is the responsibility of a Minister, like supervising his lieutenants. That is not good governance,” said Dr. Isaac. He said Mr. Chandy was paying dearly for leaving affairs of the State in the hands of his personal staff.

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The contraversy of UN award to Shri.Oommen Chandy is totally unwanted
discussion.Mass contact programme of CM has benefitted many many aammm
aadmi's of the state and they derived the benefit of it.One should
appreciate the initiate CM has taken and encourage him rather than
criticising.We had many many CM's in the
earlier occasion and they simply completed five year term and vanished.

from:  antony rudolf
Posted on: Jul 3, 2013 at 10:27 IST

Are you guys suggesting UN is so dumb not to recognize that?

He received the award 'cause Out of 5.5 lakh petitions, of which around
three lakh were resolved, and distributed financial assistance of Rs.
22.68 crore as part of the programme....

from:  Ruru Koshy Varghese
Posted on: Jul 2, 2013 at 15:17 IST

Fantastic News. Blowing own trumpet is no longer shameful.

from:  Soundararajan Srinivasa
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 21:38 IST

@ Divakar Pai

"Usually, as we have seen for years, post-election, the elected
representatives go into "busy" mode and hardly find time to get down
to the public."

This is not true. There are people who took hard initiatives to reach
the public. The direct contact program was started by Shri. E K
Nayanar through a phone-in program in Asianet Channel in 1999.
Probably this is the first ever attempt by a chief minister to reach
the public directly. Mr. Chandi's progarm is merely an extension for
this, and he reaped much out of it at the end, by fabricating things
cleverly. !

from:  G Rajesh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 20:02 IST

A drowning man catches a straw! That's all! The govt is ashamed of
telling that the award is for the CM's office for corruption free
running. So it was publicised that the award is exclusively for the CM.
Only Congress party can celebrate so much about this self nominated

from:  Rama Rao B
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 19:57 IST

The present Chief Minister of Kerala Sri.Oomen Chandy is a popular politician close to
masses.His public contact programme is a true innovation unique in participation,resolving
grievances and meeting people.The concept of reaching out to masses by the top most
executive reflects security of the executive in the hands of people at a time when political
leadership is cordoned off from people.The tragedy is the means resorted to reach such
positions of power using all means-unfair most of the times-.What Kerala is witnessing is a
power struggle where all means are used to pull the leg of the Chief Minister.Once the storm
is blown over,the will of people and masses only prevails.Let the present CM be allowed to
complete his term and let the people decide his future by the people in the next election.

from:  Dr K V Peter
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 19:03 IST

This is almost entirely an english translation of the Deshabhimani (CPM's official newspaper in kerala) editorial in malayalam that appeared 2 days ago! No wonder then, many in kerala calls Hindu - english deshabhimani!!

from:  Pradeep
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 18:41 IST

From a neutral point of view (without any hidden politics), The Mass Contact Programme initiated by Chief Minister Oomen Chandy is to say the least - a noteworthy one. Yes - the success or failure of the programme may be debatable, but nobody can question the good intention behind it.

Usually, as we have seen for years, post-election, the elected representatives go into "busy" mode and hardly find time to get down to the public. It is at this juncture, Chief Minister Oomen Chandy has brought out this people centric programme. It has at least helped negate the general public feeling that the Ministers are not directly approachable for the common man. Like the Chief Minister, others like the Transport, Water, Revenue and Electricity Ministers too should bring out such campaigns. This is what the general public expect from them - to listen to them and serve them.

from:  Divakar Pai
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:42 IST

What if tomorrow the Govt. of the God's Own Country recommends a Nobel
Prize or a Jawaharlal Nehru Award for Peace and International
Understanding or a Bharat Ratna to Mr. Oomen Chandy? No way but to
budge. For, if the mighty UN has bestowed its award, India should
follow suit with its "Ratna" and Sweden should with its Alfred Nobel
embossed locket! By the by, Saudi Arabia is going to send back 3 lakhs
bread winners of Kerala from the Kingdom to Mr. Oomen Chandy's Country
of God's Own! Can we consider that as an award from the Kingdom to Mr.
Chandy? Mullaiperiyar and the baby dam are to their brim and pray to
god that no earthquake around there to end up in a Dam 999 tragic
climax. Mr. Chandy is busy decorating himself with UN-necessary
awards. When Rome is on fire, Oomen was not born to fiddle. Sreesanth,
Oomen Chandy, Achudanandan, Suriyanelli, ISRO Chairman taking
satellite model for Thiruppathi pooja....!!! Oh, god, Kerala is bunch
full of hard coconuts to crack. Entha, Manasilaayo..?

from:  C. Sachidananda Narayanan
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:32 IST

The Congress party in Kerala, by celebrating the United Nations recognition received by the Chief Minister, hopes to nullify the harmful effects of the ongoing solar scam. But, there is already controversy over the true value of the award, how certain Indian leaders and State officials, probably at the instance of the CM himself, unethically managed the UN decision and the absence of Secretary General to present the prize. Also perhaps, the UN authorities might not be in the full knowledge of Oommen Chandy’s ‘mass contact programme’ as the people of the State see it and the gravity of accusations of corruption his office is facing at home. The funny argument that the CM’s office is no part of the government is nothing less than making fools of citizens. Whether the ceremony would end like the presence India’s representative in the international conference in Kuala Lumpur in May last, whose organisers had had to issue a statement later that “had they known of the controversy over P.J.Kurien, the Indian Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairman, they would not have permitted him to speak there” is to be seen.

from:  P.R.V.Raja
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 15:18 IST

Ha ha ha! :) Corruption free it seems! Omg! This is fun!

from:  Hari
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 14:28 IST

A bunch of jokers performing a circus is the only thing that comes to
mind on reading the article.

There is a lack of maturity at the CM's office level and an obsession to
project a glossy and rosy picture no matter what the case. Shameless!

from:  Iti Mehrotra
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:54 IST

Its time we should do something for the state if we're so concerned. Blaming a CM and asking him to step down isn't the remedy. What happens once he steps down.The Left rules the state and again you find similar allegations.And what do you expect to happen then.Be teh Change that you want to See, rather than waiting for the change to happen!!!

from:  Sumesh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 12:40 IST

The Hindu has put some holes on the farcical hype drama of this UN

from:  Harish
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 11:57 IST

Blowing ones own trumpet!!? Is it not too much, even for a politician? What is next!? Mirror mirror on the wall----!??

from:  Saratchandran
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 10:40 IST

This CM should stepdown immediately. Time he stopped fooling
himself and the people of the state!!!!!!!

from:  Santosh
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 07:44 IST

Nowhere in the world we can see so shameless politicians; and the UN did
a big mistake of doing just some paperwork instead trying to understand
the matters at grass root level. Receiving 5 lakh complaints is not a
big achievement- let alone how many of them has been resolved- compared
to the 50 lakh issues that the people here faces. I don't even a
remember a single achievement "for the people" in the last 2 years. I
can only see some benefits "for the few"

from:  Deepak
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 01:47 IST

The United Nations which gives away its Public Service Awards should
first verify the nominations properly. It is really disappointing that
the chief minister's office received the award while facing accusations
of massive corruption.

from:  Ranjeet Mathew
Posted on: Jul 1, 2013 at 01:22 IST
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