Opposition Congress on Monday termed as “filmy dialogues” the claims made by Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on development during his ongoing electoral campaign. Reacting to Modi’s claim that Gujarat surpasses the national average on availability of computers in schools, Gujarat Congress chief Arjun Modhwadia said the chief minister was lying.
Addressing a rally in Bihar, Modi said that against the national average of 22 per cent schools having computers, Gujarat has 71 per cent schools with computers. Countering this, Modhwadia said reality in Gujarat is in stark contrast compared to what Modi is projecting.
“Modi claimed that 70 per cent of primary students in Gujarat are having access to computers in their schools. But, we learnt that not a single computer teacher is employed by the state government till date to impart computer education,” Modhwadia told a press conference here.
He said far from Modi’s projection that Gujarat is the leader in education, the sector is in shambles in the BJP-ruled state. “Apart from computers provided by Sarva Sikhsa Abhiyan scheme of central government, the state government has not added a single computer. Government even passed an order to shut 13,000 schools. 38 per cent of schools do not have drinking water facility. Gujarat ranks 12th in gross enrolment ratio” Modhwadia said.
He alleged the state government has employed school teachers on meagre salaries. “Government pays a meagre salary of Rs 5300 per month to the primary teachers. The drop-out ratio of students has reached 57.9 per cent. As per the latest census of 2011, Gujarat ranked 17th in literacy rate. This shows that Modi is expert in lying, and his claims of development are nothing but filmy dialogues” he said.
AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal during his recent tour of the state had raised similar issues to attack Modi on his development model. “State government spent only 40 per cent of budget given for Sarva Siksha Abhiyan by Centre. Among 42 engineering and polytechnic colleges in the state, only 4 have principals. 67 per cent vacancies of teaching staff and 69 per cent vacancies of administration staff are yet to be filled in these colleges,” Modhwadia said.
He also accused Modi of misleading people about IT-related growth in Gujarat. “In the IT export sector, Gujarat is no where in top 10 states. Even Kerala and Orissa are ahead of us in IT export figures,” the Congress chief said.