Wednesday, June 27, 2012

GoM rubbishes Modi's bias charge, 'Vibrant Gujarat' claim

The visiting 'Group of Ministers (GoM) on Media' on Wednesday refuted Chief Minister Narendra Modi's oft-repeated allegation that the Centre was discriminating against his government on the matter of allocation of funds.
The GoM comprised Union Home Minister P Chidambaram, Minister for Information and Broadcasting Ambika Soni and Law Minister Salman Khurshid.
Replying to questions, Chidambaram said there was no question of any discrimination against the Gujarat government and figures themselves rejected Modi's contentions. He said the central funding for Gujarat had increased from Rs 21,700 crore in 2005-2006 to Rs 51,000 crore in 2012-13.
He, however, said the larger contribution for the state's development came from its own resources.
The Home Minister said Modi was not the only CM of a non-Congress ruled state making such allegations. He pointed out that during the NDA rule, non-NDA governments in the states had made similar complaints. “The UPA government is for development of the entire India,” he said.
In response to Modi's claims that Gujarat was the fastest growing state in the country, Chidambaram said development was taking place in Gujarat as in any other state. “All the states are growing and the Centre has contributed for the development of all the states,” he said.
Countering Modi government's 'Vibrant Gujarat' campaign, Soni said that malnutrition among women and children was higher in Gujarat compared to the national average. “While the malnutrition among women in India is 51 per cent, it is 55 per cent in Gujarat,” she said.
“The state economy could be termed as vibrant when women and children of the state are able to stand on their own,” Soni added.
On the issue of alleged discrimination against IPS officer Sanjiv Bhatt, Chidambaram said that IPS officers were allocated separate cadres and the state government should deal fairly with them. “The central government cannot intervene on its own unless the IPS officer approaches the government for redressal of grievances,” he said.
He pointed out that some IPS officers, including from Gujarat, had approached the Centre in the past, following which the government intervened in their cases.
On the condition of Muslims, Khurshid said there was nothing to indicate that they were living in a better condition in Gujarat in comparison to other states.
He said that Gujarat was the only state in the country which had not implemented pre-matric scholarship for minorities. He, however, admitted that Gujarat had implemented the post-matric scholarship scheme for minority students.