Tripura chief minister Biplab Kumar Deb on September 6 started a helpline service for the general public, aiming to minimize the gap between people and government.
Launching the 1905 helpline service, Deb hoped that people would now be accessible to the chief minister through this number and any public grievances and suggestions would be recorded here, which will be directly monitored by him.
This will also increase public participation in formulating policies and impact of any government decision would be evaluated through this mechanism.
“Now, me or my officials do not know from which political background the callers belong to. But we must be interested in improving the service delivery system and ending the culture of political identity-based action and support to the citizens in need,” Deb stated, adding that it would further increase public accountability, thereby improving governance.
However, opposition CPI-M became critical to the move. “It is nothing but a publicity stunt of the chief minister. Such efforts are not sustainable and useful for the people. After being sworn-in, Biplab Deb had made a similar stunt for two months to talk to the people in the secretariat with the whole administration but it didn’t yield any fruit and rather exposed the anti-people stand of the BJP government,” the party said.
CPI-M leader and former Lok Sabha MP Jitendra Chowdhury said: “When people are not getting work and food, no treatment in the hospital, no electricity supply and getting red face of BJP cadres for raising any complaint, this helpline may turn into a trap for the common people. If anybody lodge any complaint against ruling party cadres, they will be attacked.”
Chowdhury advised CM to ensure democracy first in the state and allow people to talk fearlessly, press function freely, political parties to do their activities without hindrance and basic minimum service of the people have been secured.