Singh accuses BJP government of misgovernance
In a rebuttal to Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s remarks on Karnataka’s development in the last five years, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday charged the ruling BJP government with creating an atmosphere of fear among minorities during its rule, misgovernance and corruption.
Promising to transform Bangalore into a world-class city if the Congress was voted to power, Singh said the State lagged behind in development works in absence of good governance and dynamic leadership. “The pace of progress has slowed down, there has been a shortage of electricity and drinking water in some parts and the law and order situation was not satisfactory,” he said addressing election rallies in Hubli and in the outskirts of Bangalore.
Singh cited figures to counter Modi’s recent claim that the BJP government in Karnataka had successfully implemented developmental programmes. He, however, did not mention Modi.
“Seven years ago when the Congress was in power, Karnataka was a model for development and progressive policies and we used to hear success stories everyday. In the last five years of the BJP rule, things have changed completely and for the worse. Today, Karnataka is in the news for misgovernance, neglect of developmental works and corruption,” he said.
Singh said little attention was given to infrastructure development even as several companies relocated from Bangalore to Hyderabad and Pune. “People are frustrated due to the lack of development. For example, the metro rail project in Bangalore is running 21 months behind schedule. The Congress will give top priority to Bangalore. We will make Bangalore a world class city. Bangalore deserves the best,” Singh said.
The prime minister said the UPA government had released Rs 5,700 crore to Karnataka for projects under 15 centrally-sponsored schemes. “But the State government did not show any interest in implementing these schemes,” Singh said. Besides, the State government utilised only Rs 800 crore of the Rs 2,600 crore allotted for schemes under MGNREGA in 2010-11. Only 321 km road was laid under the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana while there was a provision for 546 km.
“The BJP government changed three chief ministers and a number of ministers had to quit because of corruption charges. In the process, the pace of development slowed down. Industry and agriculture were neglected. There is a shortage of water and power. Roads are in bad condition. Though the State faced severe drought in the last two years, the government did precious little to provide drinking water and fodder,” he said.
Promising a clean and corruption-free government, Singh said: “We will pay attention to business and agriculture, speed up the pace of infrastructure development, irrigation, electricity and road projects.
“We will make Karnataka one of the most developed states. All development that the State saw in the past was due to work done by the Congress governments led by S M Krishna, Veerappa Moily and Dharam Singh.”
Singh said the Centre had planned to develop the Bangalore-Chennai industrial corridor to create employment and connect the State power grid with the national grid at a cost of Rs 2,000 crore.
He added that Gas Authority of India Limited implemented the Dhabol (Maharashtra)-Bidadi gas pipeline project despite non-cooperation from the State government.