The success stories thrown up by the State of the States study attest to a time-tested dictum: the surest way to electoral victory is delivery on the ground, and there is no substitute for substantive development.
Placing a state firmly on the development curve is rarely a walk in the park. Take Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi. At the beginning of his 14-year tenure, the Congress veteran, then pushing 65 years of age, even danced with a group of World Bank officials once-earning the wrath of his wife. Wooing them for a loan, he also ordered his bureaucrats to take the officials on a joyride to Kaziranga National Park. Purists may object to Gogoi’s methods, but he achieved his goal. External aid from multinational agencies ensured that Assam showed consistent superlative performance in infrastructure development. Gogoi’s example, in fact, illustrates one of the major takeaways of this year’s India Today Group State of the States study-the role of leadership and the ability to walk the extra mile play the most crucial role in the performance of a state. Two eastern states, Assam and Odisha-helmed by Naveen Patnaik for the last 15 years-have made the biggest leaps in the rankings since last year. Assam has moved to seventh rank from 19th while Odisha has moved to fifth from 16th. The rise of both states has been fuelled by improvement in their infrastructure and macro economy.
Courtesy : India Today
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