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Rawat shares equal blame for ‘failure’ in dealing with floods: Uma Bharti  

HT Correspondent  DEHRADUN, February 21, 2014
First Published: 20:54 IST(21/2/2014) | Last Updated: 21:00 IST(21/2/2014)

Senior Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Uma Bharti on Friday said that the BJP would win all five Lok Sabha seats in Uttarakhand. She said the state Congress government’s failure on the development front will be the party’s main poll plank in the upcoming general election.


“We are going to win all the five Lok Sabha seats in the state as there is a clear wave in favour of the BJP. Such a wave was witnessed in the state in 1998, when the BJP swept the LS polls,” Bharti, who is the party’s state in-charge for the LS elections, said.

She said the Congress’ failure to deal with relief and rehabilitation amounted to “criminal negligence”. 

Addressing a press conference here, she said the BJP would aggressively raise the issue of Congress government’s failure in dealing with reconstruction and rehabilitation issue post the flash floods that ravaged the state in June last year. “Our main poll-plank will, however, be the state government’s failure on the development front,” she clarified.

Bharti said that chief minister Harish Rawat shared equal blame for the state government’s failure to deal with the rehabilitation issues post the floods.

“He may have taken over recently, but he shares equal blame because as a former central minister, he was also a member of the cabinet sub-committee that had been constituted by the Centre to address the rehabilitation and reconstruction issues,” she claimed. “In fact, the Centre had a bigger role in addressing those issues than the state government,” the BJP leader said.

When asked if anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare’s announcement to support to West Bengal chief minister Mamta Bannerji would impact the party in the polls,  Bharati said, “That’s not going to affect us because the people across the country have made up their mind to vote for the BJP.”

“If he (Hazare) agrees, I will take him to West Bengal villages bordering Bangladesh. There, he will see the plight of these villages. He will automatically withdraw his support to Bannerji,” Bharti said. To a reply on the party being on the defensive, the BJP leader said, “It is the Congress which is on the defensive.”

Bharti said she would not like to contest the Lok Sabha elections, neither in Uttarakhand nor in elsewhere because she “already has a responsibility as the BJP’s state in-charge for the general elections”.  “However, if our party leadership wants me to contest the elections, I may reconsider the proposal,” Bharti added.


more from Dehradun

‘Central aid to state rose in past 3 yrs, but growth slow’

The annual assistance from the Centre to the state has increased in last few financial years, according to official statistics, even though the Uttarakhand government has been firing salvos at the central government over it.
Two days ago, the state Congress unit demanded `4,000 crore financial assistance from the centre.
According to the central statistics office figures, the Centre released `4883.74 crores for the state in 2011-12. It released `4717.68 crores in 2012-2013. And in 2013-2014, it increased the assistance to `5418.60 crores.

Uttarakhand is one of the 11 Himalayan states which enjoy special category status besides Jammu & Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Assam, Arunachal Pradesh, Meghalaya, Manipur, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura and Sikkim.
These special category states have to make part payment to the centre in lieu of getting funds for centrally-sponsored schemes.
Interestingly, on an average, central assistance has been substantial for the state though it has not helped Uttarakhand in increasing its Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) which is total monetary value of goods and services produced by a state economy in a given year.
“GSDP depends on various factors like rate of savings and investments and overall business atmosphere. But that doesn’t mean the state does not need help,” said Surender Kumar, media in-charge for CM adding that the state needs more funds.
The figures for Uttarakhand GSDP growth at constant (2004-5) price (as on 01-08-2014) was 9.36% in 2011-12. It was 5.61% in 2012-13 and 5.65% in 2013-2014.
Sometime back Planning Commission constituted a committee to study development in hill states arising from management of forest land with special focus on creation of infrastructure, livelihood and human development.
The report of the committee was discussed in Internal Planning Committee meeting held in February this year.
A Planning Commission note claimed that IPC broadly endorsed the recommendations of the committee. The report has also been forwarded to states for further inputs.

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