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Congress hits out at BJP govt

THE CONGRESS on Saturday lambasted the BJP government in the State for not just failing to keep its electoral promises but also tardily implementing central schemes.

india Updated: Feb 18, 2007 15:10 IST

THE CONGRESS on Saturday lambasted the BJP government in the State for not just failing to keep its electoral promises but also tardily implementing central schemes.

In a hard-hitting speech targeting the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government, Jyotiraditya Scindia criticised the BJP for making it a mission to win the 2008 elections when it should have focused on improving the lot of the farmers.

Speaking at a well-attended Jan Aakrosh (public anger) rally, he even sought central intervention to protect people from being trampled upon by criminals and a corrupt administration. The Guna MP said the Prime Minister had assured all facilities to the state to strengthen policing.

Union Home Minister Shivraj Patil said agriculture had to be at the core of the development paradigm if the country had to move forward and promised the Centre’s help in this.

Patil, however, said it was the state government which had to use the funds and facilities given by the Centre to make a difference. Scindia said the state government had failed abysmally on this count.

Patil — who complimented promising young MPs like Rahul Gandhi, Scindia and others for their sterling performance in and out of Parliament — reaffirmed the Centre’s commitment to help the state but emphasised it was the “state government’s
primary responsibility to protect the life and liberty of people”.

“You voted them to power because they promised bijli, sadak and pani. Where are all the facilities promised,” Scindia asked thousands of farmers at the rally also addressed by MP Congress committee chief Subhash Yadav and Gujjar leader and Faridabad MP Avtaar Singh Bhadana.

Scindia said that instead of improving the power situation, the government had sent farmers unusually high bills, jailed those who could not pay and disconnected connections to an entire village if one villager failed to pay.

“Is this justice,” he asked. “No,” responded the sea of humanity that had crashed through several barricades and police cordons to surround the dais. Scindia would stop half-way through his sentences and the crowd would complete them for him.

He even got his audience to calculate how much central assistance he had demanded for the farmers to compensate them for the crops destroyed over 2 lakh hectare. This amount came to Rs 200 crore.

The Guna MP — Joura falls in the neighbouring Morena parliamentary constituency held by the BJP — said the Prime Minister and Patil had released Rs 185 crore to the state government from the national calamity relief fund for farmers whose crops had been destroyed. “But the farmers have not seen the money so far,” he said.

Nor have the tribals seen the Rs 2 per kg wheat the central government sent for them or the subsidised kerosene. Subhash Yadav blamed the BJP for the plight of the state’s farmers. The government was claiming good governance even though people reeled under an acute power crisis.

atikku@hindustantimes.com