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Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna: At Arun Jaitley’s adopted village in Gujarat, a 50-km journey cut to 4 km

The union minister, who could not attend the inauguration due to medical reasons, spoke at the event through video conferencing.

Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel with Rohan Jaitley at the inauguration of the Chandod-Karnali bridge. (Express photo by Bhupendra Rana)

Gujarat Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel on Thursday inaugurated multiple projects at Karnali village, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s adopted village under the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojna. The union minister, who could not attend the inauguration due to medical reasons, spoke at the event through video conferencing. “Even if I can not visit Karnali under certain circumstances, somebody from family will represent me,” he said. His son Rohan Jaitley was present at the occasion.

Among the projects launched on the day was a bridge connecting Chandod to Karnali that reduced a 50-km journey to just under 4 km. It was constructed at a cost of Rs 17.5 crore and the foundation stone for which was laid by Jaitley in 2016. Other projects include a renovated Somnath Ghat and seating arrangement for villagers and pilgrims to the site. Jaitley’s aide Parindu Bhagat, who was also on the dais, named the bridge “Pujya Dadaji Setu”.

“Arun Jaitley is still in isolation to avoid any infection after his surgery. And keeping the humidity and the weather in mind, he couldn’t make it and so Rohan did,” Bhagat told The Indian Express, referring to Jaitley’s recent kidney transplant. Jaitley hailed village residents for making Karnali an adarsh village. Recently, it had got three new ATMs, 478 toilets making it open defecation free, an overhead water tank for which 10 per cent of the expense was borne by the residents, and solar panels were installed.

“For generations to come, the villagers and pilgrims will be benefitted by the vision helmed by Arun Jaitley,” said Patel. He went on to laud Bhagat and his family for their contribution towards the village and said, “Arun Jaitley and Kakuji (as Bhagat is known in party circles) have familial ties and I would want to tell you that Arun Jaitley’s decision to choose Karnali as an adarsh village is only because of Kakuji and his family.”

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He also criticised the Congress. “In the 60 years of their rule, the Congress never thought of a scheme where Parliamentarians are given grants to uplift poor villages. But the present government did under the leadership of the Prime Minister,” Patel said. He added that villages in Kheda, Mehsana, Anand and Vadodara are “happy villages” with donations and funds from NRIs but villages which are devoid of any facilities were always ignored until the gram sansad yojna.

Patel further emphasised on how Gujarat will attract more tourists with these developmental projects, including the Statue of Unity. He promised more grants to Karnali and develop it as a pilgrimage spot. Chhota Udepur MP Ramsinh Rathwa and Dabhoi MLA Sailesh Mehta were also present at the inauguration.

First published on: 29-06-2018 at 05:33:44 am
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