Thursday, December 8, 2022

Guj governed from Delhi, double-engine government claim an ‘empty boast’: PC

Ahead of the upcoming Gujarat Assembly polls, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram on Tuesday claimed the state was being “governed from Delhi” and that it why it saw three chief ministers in last six years.
The claim of a ‘double-engine’ government is an “empty boast”, he said.
Chidambaram, who was in Gujarat’s Ahmedabad city to campaign for his party, also hit out at the ruling BJP over its “arrogance”, saying no one so far has apologised or resigned for the Morbi bridge collapse tragedy which claimed 135 lives. The Gujarat Assembly polls will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
Addressing a press conference here, Chidambaram claimed “Gujarat is being governed from Delhi, not Ahmedabad” and that is the reason why the state has seen three chief ministers in the last six years.
“The boast of a double-engine government is an empty boast. Gujarat is a single-bullock cart that is trudging on a mud path leaving behind vast sections of people, especially the Scheduled Tribes, women, the youth and the poor,” he further claimed.
On October 30, a suspension bridge on the Machchuu river in Gujarat’s Morbi district collapsed, claiming 135 lives.
“As per my knowledge, nobody has apologised or resigned for such a big tragedy. If such a thing would have happened in a foreign country, there would have been immediate resignations. There is a complete lack of accountability for the Morbi tragedy,” Chidambaram said.
“They have not apologised as the government here thinks they will easily win the coming elections and they need not be accountable for the incident. The BJP government and its leaders feel that they are not answerable or accountable because the BJP is sitting on the summit of arrogance,” he said.
He appealed to the people of Gujarat to change the BJP government and give a chance to the Congress this time.
“In all mature parliamentary democracies, people change governments from time to time. Every few years or terms you must change the government,” the Congress veteran said.
Why are social indicators, such as health and education, high in states like Kerala and Tamil Nadu? Because governments are changed once every five years or ten years, he added.
“My appeal to the people of Gujarat is to change your government. Assert your democratic right. Establish the principle of parliamentary democracy. Governments must be changed from time to time. This time, vote for the Congress party. Because you know our track record. We can do better and we will do better than the BJP,” Chidambaram said.
Asked if he thinks central probe agencies like the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) were being misused, Chidambaram claimed “they are handmaidens of the BJP”.
“Ninety five per cent of all cases and arrests made by the ED and CBI are of opposition leaders. Anyone who joins the BJP, all cases against them are closed and their alleged sins are washed away,” he further claimed.
On the issue of BJP-ruled states announcing the formation of committees to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), the Congress leader said, “Even a child knows that states cannot implement it, it can be done by Parliament.
Asked about his views on the Indian economy’s future, the former Union finance minister said though India will not go into recession like European countries or the US, but the growth will slow down.
“The growth will be nowhere near the rosy picture being painted by the finance minister and the chief economic advisor. The growth will slow down for several reasons – one, the investment will slow down. Two, exports will slow down. Three, inflation and depreciation of rupee will eat into people’s income, therefore consumption will slow down,” he said.

SourcePTI
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