The Union minister for communications and information technology, Kapil Sibal, took on the BJP’s prime ministerial hopeful Narendra Modi on Friday questioning his policies on a wide range of issues from health to education, from coal to power and gas pricing to inflation.
“Power plants have stopped functioning because no one wants to mine coal now. Will Modi tell us what is his policy for coal and power sectors? It is easy to sell dreams but hard to deliver,” Sibal remarked while delivering an address at the 85th annual general meeting of the Indian Chamber of Commerce in the city.
“Unless we invest in higher education, it is difficult for the nation to progress. All innovations take place in the universities. Has Modi ever talked about education, regulation of gas prices or ways to deal with inflation?
Have we ever heard the views on such issues by the person aspiring to be the prime minister?” Sibal asked the crowd of industrialists who had gathered to listen to him.
Sibal also played down the GDP growth rate in Gujarat stating all three major industrialists of India reside in the state, thus contributing to its growth. He said the overall socio-economic condition of Gujarat is quite poor.
“I want to know what is the Gujarat model of development. What I find is a Gujarat medal of development. Modi is adorning himself with a medal and saying it is a model that the nation needs to follow. But what exactly constitutes the model?” Sibal wondered.
“The BJP only demands the hanging of Afzal Guru and claim minority appeasement whenever we try to do something for the community’s development. Have they ever spoken on providing subsidies to the poor?
Have they ever given their views on capital mobilisation or providing jobs to the unemployed, which are the biggest challenges before the nation today?” Sibal remarked.
Sibal criticised the BJP for opposing all policies of the government, but at the same time, failing to provide an alternate policy. He also defended the UPA government’s policies on 2G spectrum, coal block allocation and inviting foreign direct investment in higher education.
The minister also pointed out that each state is putting pressure on the Centre for allocation of maximum resources for it, and it is not a healthy practice as its indicates the leaders of these don’t have a national vision.