Chief Minister Narendra Modi may not have given him appointment, but his government has replied to Aam Admi Party (AAP) convenor Arvind Kejriwal’s 16 questions on busting the Gujarat development myth, claiming that “the state has done remarkable development”.
Day after Kejriwal raised the 16 points, the Modi government spokesperson Nitin Patel gave reply to most of them during a press release. However, the government remained silent on the issue of tainted ministers and favouring industrialists by making the Amabnis son-in-law Saurabh Patel energy and petrochemical minister.
Two days ago, Kejriwal was stopped at Sargasan Chowkdy on Sarkhej-Gandhinagar highway when he said he was going to meet Modi to raise those question. Denied appointment with Modi on the same day, Kejriwal then left for Jaipur and came back in Ahmedabad on Saturday to address his first public rally in Modi’s den.
In the reply to AAP supremo, Patel said that farmers in Gujarat are not in dismal condition, as it was alleged by him. Due to adaptation of modern technology and irrigation, Gujarat has clocked growth of 11.11 per cent. One farmer has committed suicide between 2003 to 2012 due to crop figures, he added.
He also rubbished the claims of Kejriwal that schools and colleges in Gujarat are facing teachers shortage. He said that since 1998, 1.44 lakh Vidhya Sahayaks have been appointed and 2,000 teachers to be recruited once the code of conduct will be lifted.
Patel said that 454 Sikh farmers in Kutch today own land and engage in agricultural. So the allegations levelled by Kejriwal that Gujarat Government has grabbed their land are false, he said. Besides, 1.12 lakh hectares of land in Kutch is today being irrigated with Narmada water.
The AAP’s claims that even seven years after raising Sardar Sarovar Dam height, the Narmada water has not reached farmers is baseless, the press release stated.
According to Patel, it is totally false to say that farmers were paid Rs 1 per square metre to give away land to industrialist. The growth of Gujarat is testimony that administration and governance is transparent here, he said. People here can meet top officials and ministers without prior appointment on Mondays and Tuesdays. And the growth of small scale industries has progressed, he added.
On proving only ad hoc jobs, Patel said that in 1998 due to crisis the new recruitment were freezed. However, in 2006, to fill up the vacant posts, the government started hiring on ad hoc basis and later on they were taken on pay rolls. The government has recruited 2 lakh youths since then and in next 10 years it plans to provide 2 lakh more jobs.
Replying to the allegations that the government has failed to provide electricity connections and power supply in the state, Patel said that its has provided 1 lakh new connections in past two years.
However, Patel did not reply on Kejriwal’s questions that why tainted ministers like Babu Bokihiria (convicted in illegal mining) and Purshottam Solanki (accused in fishing contract) continue to be minister in the government that calls itself corruption free.