The BJP-ruled states blasted the Centre for incorporating a special 15-point programme for minorities in the draft paper for the 11th Five-Year Plan claiming it amounts to budgeting on communal lines. A day after the BJP high command asked party-ruled states to oppose the ?communal budgeting? factor that the UPA government was trying to incorporate in the Five-Year Plan, Gujarat Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi demanded a review of the programme that stipulates earmarking 15 per cent of targets and outlays under various schemes for minorities.
Shri Narendra Modi along with other BJP Chief Ministers strongly opposed 15 per cent of targets and outlays proposed to be included in PM'snew 15-point programme in the draft of the Eleventh Five-Year Plan, under various schemes for the minorities and said that this should be reviewed in the interest of maintaining the social fabric of nation.
Such discrimination, amongst the eligible beneficiaries, for flow of funds, based on minority status, will not help the cause of taking the people of India together on path of development. The correct criteria for flow of funds for various schemes and programmes should be based on principle of equity by taking only socio-economic criteria alone, and leaving the implementation of such schemes to the states.
This new concept of ?communal budgeting? introduced by UPA government should be reconsidered in national interest, Shri Modi demanded.
Smt. Vasundhara Raje, Chief Minister of Rajasthan, stressed that Gadgil-Mukherji formula should be revisited to make it more progressive; and reservations in schemes or jobs should be for the poor, not for any particular group.
The views of Smt. Vasundhara Raje were endorsed by Chief Minister of Orissa Shri Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister of Bihar Shri Nitish Kumar, Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Narendra Modi, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan, and Chief Minister of Chhattisgarh Shri Raman Singh. They moved a resolution seeking constitution of a committee under the co-chairmanship of a Senior Chief Minister and Dy. Chairman, Planning Commission with adequate representation of Chief Ministers to examine the full gamut of issues involved in central assistance to states.
Shri Modi criticised the Eleventh Plan document since there is no focussed strategy for the tribals of India. He said that tribal population are the poorest and they are the most deprived section of the society from the point of view of all developmental parameters. This neglect of tribal areas has led to spread of Naxalism in these areas which the Prime Minister himself had described as the single-most internal threat being faced by the country. In spite of this realisation, there is no focussed strategy or time frame to improve the condition of tribal population.
?It should be reviewed in the interest of maintaining the social fabric of the nation,? Shri Modi said at the National Development Council meeting in New Delhi on Wednesday. The meeting was convened to approve the draft paper for the Five-Year Plan.
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan also rejected the proposal saying poor have no caste or religion, hence only the economic criteria should be the basis for allocating funds for welfare schemes. ?This is an example of vote bank politics and it is being done only to appease Muslims,? Shri Chouhan told mediapersons.
Echoing similar views, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh said the focus of the Plan document should be on poverty rather than on specific communities. ?Poverty is the biggest problem and the Eleventh Plan should address it effectively and the focus should not be on communal lines,? he said.
Union Water Resources Minister Shri Saifuddin Soz, however, dismissed the Muslim appeasement allegation as ?BJP propaganda? and welcomed the document saying it generated a lot of hope for the country, specially in the agriculture sector.
Shri Narendra Modi accepted the challenge of 11.2 per cent growth rate given by the Planning Commission to Gujarat for the Eleventh Five Year Plan. This is one of the highest growth rates proposed in the Eleventh Plan for the country. He expressed his confidence to achieve this growth rate and said that Gujarat has made an outlay of 1,07,000 crore for the Eleventh Plan period.