Maha lacked good political leadership: WikiLeaks

A leaked US cable claimed that Maharashtra lacked good political leadership for almost two decades.

Last Updated: Sep 06, 2011, 15:22 PM IST

Washington: Claiming that Maharashtra lacked
good political leadership for almost two decades, a leaked US
cable has said that years of "underperformance" has lowered
expectations to a level that even marginal infrastructural
development would be seen as a major victory.

The cable, which was written on the occasion of first
anniversary of 26/11, said, "By all accounts, Maharashtra has
lacked good political leadership for almost two decades. The
last ten years of Congress/NCP rule has been marked by an
inability to implement major development or infrastructure

"The political coalition is openly fractious, ministers
routinely criticise each other in public, and state leaders
devote much of their time to balancing these various
interests, leaving little time for serious pursuits," it said.

"In this regard, Maharashtra`s politicians are not
different from those in many other states - too many family
dynasties, too much corruption, too many builders and land
developers seeking family fortunes.

The US government has neither confirmed nor denied
the authenticity of these cables.

"However, the accumulation of ten years of
underperformance, indifference, and incompetence has lowered
the expectations of civil society so much that even the most
marginal of improvements would be seen as a major victory," it

For most of the time since 26/11, Maharashtra`s
politicians engaged in fraternal infighting, electioneering,
and horse-trading over the spoils of office, it said.

One year after the tragic terrorist attacks of
November 26, 2008, Maharashtra`s leaders have introduced
modest improvements in Mumbai`s security, it said.

Maharashtra`s administration and security officials
appear sincere in their desire to make Mumbai safer and to
protect its citizens from further attacks.

"That said, the state faces serious challenges in
overcoming decades of accumulated capacity and leadership
deficits - as well as bureaucratic hurdles -- in order to make
Mumbai safer. Despite a state election where security might
have been an electoral issue, voters cast their ballots along
identity lines, returning the ineffectual incumbent coalition
to power," the cable said.

A new, energetic police leadership has introduced
some modernisation efforts, but serious questions remain about
the professional competence of the force and the ability of
its political leadership to implement serious reforms, it