Dushyant Chautala, the Deputy Chief Minister of Haryana, appears to be a man in a hurry. He has been allotted the plump 11 portfolios which include excise and taxation, development and panchayats, industry and commerce, food and civil supplies departments, revenue, disaster management, public works, labour and employment, civil aviation, archaeology and museum, and rehabilitation and consolidation. These are core departments which makes him the most powerful minister in the state.
Haryana collected `7,500 crore from the ‘liquor business’ and around `18,000 crore comes from GST and other taxes. Given the size of the liquor and GST revenue pie, it makes the Excise and Taxation Department most powerful not only a revenue generator but a politically influential tool. As per the Haryana government budget of 2019-20, water supply, sanitation, housing and urban development has allocation of `9,691 crore, social welfare and nutrition was allocated `8,645 crore and rural development has a budget of `5,365 crore. This is now under the control of Chautala. Insiders reveal that civil servants are finding it difficult to implement the official and so-called unofficial dictates of the Deputy Chief Minister. The ruling BJP leadership is reportedly keeping a vigil on his movements. It appears Dushyant knows his real strength; he has a fragmented family and fragile political party which has only 10 MLAs out of a house of 90 MLAs. Insiders reveal that BJP’s top leadership may change its course of action after the Delhi assembly elections and Dushyant knows he is running against time. Wait and watch.