Thursday, November 22, 2012

Cong hijacked Modi’s own election plank

Cong hijacked Modi’s own election plank ‘Ghar Nu Ghar’ Was CM’s Promise In 2007
Ajay Umat | TNN

Ahmedabad: Poll promises are meant to be forgotten. But, this one

commitment, made ahead of assembly polls of 2007, has come back to
haunt chief minister Narendra Modi as the Congress hijacked the
affordable housing plank ahead of the make-or-break assembly election
battle due in December 2012.
    The BJP manifesto five years ago promised Ghar nu Ghar (roughly
translated, own your house) to all homeless in urban and rural areas.
Modi’s term now stands hijacked by Congress. The idea to give Modi a
taste of his own medicine was mooted by Congress leader and state
campaign committee chief Shankersinh Vaghela, an ideal anti-dote for
Modi, having worked together for many years in the BJP till they fell
out with each other when the party came to power in 1993.
    Congress leaders say when Vaghela first discussed the idea, nobody
took it seriously. It was after his colleague and state Congress
president Arjun Modhwadia showed interest in the subject that the high
command realised its potential.
    Instead of making it sound a hollow promise, the Congress high
command insisted that the message should go across that it meant
business. A former Congress finance minister Arvind Sanghvi was
immediately roped in to give shape to the scheme. The scheme was aptly
called ‘Ghar nu Ghar’, to touch a chord with homeless Gujaratis.
    The census of 2011 showed there were 3.31 lakh homeless families
and another 16.5 lakh living in rented accommodation in Gujarat — the
state government’s socio economic review too highlighted the fact.
    Lakhs of forms were printed and then distributed through over 500
camps across the state in an organised manner which even surprised the
Modi camp, which is now in damage control mode on the issue.
    The dismal performance of Gujarat Housing Board (GHB) has only
added fuel to Congress campaign. The government agency entrusted to
build homes for slum-dwellers — the Gujarat Slum Clearance Board — was
merged with the already defunct GHB five years ago.