Odisha’s dial-a-feedback scheme seen as bid to woo urban votershttps://indianexpress.com/article/india/odishas-dial-a-feedback-scheme-seen-as-bid-to-woo-urban-voters-6049581/

Odisha’s dial-a-feedback scheme seen as bid to woo urban voters

The programme is being seen as an effort by the Patnaik government to woo the urban electorate ahead of the urban local body elections, scheduled next year.

Odisha government, Odisha Mo Sarkar, Naveen Patnaik, Naveen Patnaik Mo Sarkar
Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik. (File photo)

The Odisha government on Wednesday launched a scheme called ‘Mo Sarkar’, as part of which the government will collect feedback on telephone on quality of service delivered at government hospitals and police stations across the state.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik launched Mo Sarkar with visits to Bhubaneswar’s Capital Hospital and Saheed Nagar Police Station. “I spoke with nine men and women regarding corruption and harassment at police stations. The feedback was satisfactory,” he said.

As part of the programme, poor feedback will impact promotion of policemen, and doctors and hospital staff will be asked to issue explanations on any grievances filed against them.

The programme is being seen as an effort by the Patnaik government to woo the urban electorate ahead of the urban local body elections, scheduled next year.

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‘People-centric’ governance to reach out

Mo Sarkar, the Naveen Patnaik government’s project under the CM’s 5T vision — Transparency, Teamwork, Technology, Time and Transformation — is aimed at bringing a shift in government services by proactively seeking feedback from people. As part of the programme, those visiting a hospital or a police station will be asked to leave their phone numbers, which will be uploaded online. Patnaik can directly take feedback on any of these numbers, chosen randomly, on a daily basis.

The tenure of more than 60 civic bodies in Odisha expired in September last year, and they are operating with administrators appointed by the government. While the BJD had won more than 40 of those in the 2013 elections, many in the Opposition, as well as some in the party, feel that figure can drop this time, given the sharp rise in BJP’s vote-share in this summer’s Assembly polls and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s popularity in urban pockets.

In Assembly polls, while BJD bagged 112 of 146 seats and won 44.7 per cent votes, BJP’s share jumped from 18 per cent to 32.5 per cent; the party bagged 23 seats.

The Mo Sarkar scheme is thus being seen by many to tilt the balance in BJD’s favour in urban Odisha.