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‘Vikas in Uttarakhand has gone on holiday, says Harish Rawat

Former chief minister slams the BJP government over the claims that ‘vikas karya (development works)’ was suffering due to paucity of funds

dehradun Updated: Nov 17, 2017 21:01 IST
Neha Pant
Neha Pant
Hindustan Times
Vikas on holiday,Fund crunch halts work,Rawat vs Rawat
Former Uttarakhand chief minister Harish Rawat and Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh along with others burn an effigy during a protest against the state government, in Dehradun on Friday. (PTI)

Vikas (development)” in Uttarakhand “has gone on a holiday” as the ruling BJP has failed to deliver on all fronts, former chief minister Harish Rawat Friday said.

“Nothing is being done by any government department. Be it education, irrigation, public works or any other department. Each of them has come to a standstill. Vikas in Uttarakhand has virtually gone on a holiday,” the senior Congress leader told reporters here.

Slamming the BJP government over the claims that “vikas karya (development works) was suffering due to paucity of funds,” Rawat said that his government had left enough money in the state exchequer, to meet needs for at least four months. He all alleged that no fresh revenue collection had been made by the present dispensation during that period.

“They have failed to manage the state’s finances well which is why the development is getting hampered,” Rawat said.

Expressing shock at the reduction in central grants to Uttarakhand, he said, “We had fought with the Centre to get the funding pattern for the hill state restored to 90:10. Our efforts paid off with the Union Finance Ministry restoring the funding pattern. But still, quite shocking, central grants to the state have declined substantially. Why is this happening? People of the state have a right to know and the chief Minister must explain.”

Rawat, who’d lost on both the seats he contested during the assembly elections earlier this year, also alleged that the Trivendra Singh Rawat dispensation failed to present Uttarakhand’s stand strongly at the Goods and Services Tax (GST) Council and demanded to know who was “bearing the expenses of providing Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) cover to some BJP leaders in the state.”

Taking a jibe at the BJP leaders’ “jumle” (idiomatic expressions not meant to be taken seriously), Rawat, who has been holding fruit-parties including that of jamun (blackberry) for mediapersons, said, “Unke jumlon se diabetes hogi, humare jamun (party) se wo duur bhagegi (their sugary promises will give you diabetes, our blackberry parties will help you stay healthy).”

The BJP was quick to react comparing the Congress leader’s allegations to “bubbles blown by children,” which disappear after a while. “The (BJP’s) government and party are working well in tandem for state’s development which has left the Congress leaders baffled. Just like children blow bubbles for their entertainment, public knows about their (Congress) allegations and treats them as nothing more than jokes,” BJP’s state media in charge Devendra Bhasin said.

‘SC verdict on rebels vindicates our stand’

On the Supreme Court recently disposing off the pleas of the nine former Congress MLAs challenging their disqualification by the then Speaker of the Uttarakhand Assembly, former chief minister Harish Rawat said the top court’s verdict had once again proved that those who rebelled against his government on March 18, 2016, were party defectors. Welcoming the court’s order, which termed the pleas of the disqualified members as “academic” in nature as a new Assembly had already come into being in Uttarakhand, he said, “Hopefully, it will help put an end to the politics of defection in the state.”

First Published: Nov 17, 2017 21:01 IST