ByÂ Meghana Rathore:
While Narendra Modi is effusively going on a rhetorical rampage, ranting against other parties, making claims and promises and throwing away impressive one liners, it seems his effective plans and ideas aren’t as overarching in his own state as is his presence nowadays across the nation and on television channels. At least, Arvind Kejriwal quite vehemently believes this if not everyone else.
Arvind Kejriwal recently toured Gujarat and worked on an on-ground-check and as the word has spread, his expose targets Mr. Modi on a number of issues by providing anecdotal evidence.
– Corruption: According to Kejriwal’s experience with local industrialists and people, corruption woes exist across the landscape of Gujarat. He came across instances where people claimed to have paid bribes for trifles like getting a BPL card or availing schemes like the Indira Avas Yojana; industrialists have to pay bribes to get their industrial licence.
– Poor condition of farmers: While having a word with farmers, Kejriwal came to know about their sympathetic state as most of the farmers’ land have been acquired by the government and they have not been compensated. “If farmers came to know about the condition of fellow farmers in Gujarat, then not a single farmer would vote for Modi. I went to Tunda village where I met Abbas, who told us that some goons and policemen had threatened him and his 7.5 acres were forcefully taken over. And he was not even compensated for his land.”
Commenting on farmers suicide which Mr. Modi claims, has reduced over the years, Mr. Kejriwal said that authentic reports on farmer suicides in the state suggest the opposite and that there have been 564 suicides in 2012 alone, which is quite an appalling number.
– Power Supply: People in villages claimed that power supply in their houses is less than 3 hours a day and in some other regions even that’s a distant dream.
– Healthcare: Kejriwal toured a number of healthcare centres in the remote areas which were either shut down, in ruins or had few staff members and no amenities.
– Agriculture: Modi claims agricultural growth of 11 % in the state however a government data site suggests negative growth rate of -1.18% in the state.
– Kejriwal’s take on BJP’s claim of its “serious questioning of the gas policy”: Mr. Kejriwal sought clarification on how does a BJP member being on the parliamentary committee board taking the decision, implicate Mr. Modi’s or for that matter even the BJP’s position on the issue and he further went on to criticize Modi’s government’s gas pricing formula which is no different from the UPA’s.
Quite wittingly commenting on the security conditions in Gujarat Kejriwal said:
“People talk about security in Gujarat. My team was there for three days and our cavalcade was attacked thrice. The attackers broke the windshield of my car. Another day, the windshield of another car was broken. On the third day, they broke the windshield of Manish’s car. If a CM cannot give protection to a former CM of another state, how can he give protection to the people of Gujarat? When we visited people’s houses and had a cup of tea, the police would turn up and ask us to show our identity cards; they would start interrogating us. I’m thankful to god that I was not killed in an encounter there.”