Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari on Wednesday claimed there cannot be a bigger proof of a government’s ”inefficiency” than the move to change its chief ministers in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled Gujarat, where the Assembly polls are due next month.
Talking to reporters here, former Union minister Tewari hit out at the state government over its ”arrogance” while referring to the last month’s Morbi bridge collapse which claimed 135 lives, and asked why nobody resigned over it and why the ”biggest accused”, the wealthy persons and those given the bridge renovation contract, have not been arrested.
The BJP had in 2016 replaced the then Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel with Vijay Rupani.
Rupani, who continued as the CM after the 2017 elections, was last year replaced with Bhupendra Patel, who is also the BJP’s chief ministerial face for the Gujarat Assembly polls to be held on December 1 and 5.
Tewari said, ”There cannot be a bigger proof of a government’s inefficiency than the fact that the CMs were required to be shown the door. What will be the plight of (the current CM) is for the public to decide.” ”There cannot be a bigger living example of governance failure than the fact that you have to change your chief ministers thrice,” he said.
Tewari alleged that corruption was legitimised in Gujarat and the same model was being imposed on the country.
”This legitimisation of corruption is dangerous for the country,” he said.
Gujarat’s debt stood at Rs 2.98 lakh crore and its unemployment rate for youth in the 20-24 age group is 12.5 per cent, perhaps the highest in the country, the Congress leader claimed.
Talking about the Morbi bridge collapse, Tewari said, ”I was thinking that had such a tragedy occurred in any other state where more than 141 people died and more than 180 injured, would nobody have resigned, would nobody be held responsible?” ”Ticket sellers and those who worked on nut-bolts of the construction have been arrested. Why aren’t those who were given the contract being arrested? This is because the government’s arrogance has risen so much that it feels despite its atrocity and behaviour with the public, it will manage to return to power,” he said.
To a question on the Aam Aadmi Party, the new poll entrant in Gujarat, Tewari claimed the kind of administrative experience, sensitivity and responsibility required to run Punjab, which borders Pakistan, has not been shown by the new (AAP) government.
”I would request the people of Gujarat to not repeat the mistake,” he said.
To a question on the BJP targeting political opponents ahead of the Gujarat elections by referring to Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar, Tewari claimed the state government has a ”PhD in diverting attention” from issues affecting the public like inflation, joblessness, management of the COVID-19 pandemic and corruption.
”I would like to ask the prime minister as to why he does not talk about development? Whenever there is an election, the issues affecting the public like unemployment, inflation, damage caused by COVID-19 or corruption are side-lined by the BJP,” he said.
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