UNNERVED by the success of BJP/NDA Governments in implementing pro-poor economic programmes, their proven ability to set new benchmarks in inclusive development and establish transparent systems of governance, the UPA Government has launched a vicious and vindictive campaign against the State governments. Steps initiated by it are aimed at surreptitiously seizing powers vested with the states and concentrating them in the hands of the Government in New Delhi.
The proposed amendments to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Rules, 1995 includes a provision whereby District Magistrates will be required to report any breach of the Rules directly to the Centre. This is a clear instance of trespassing on the State’s jurisdiction. Similarly, the draft of the Bill ‘the Public Services (Protection and Regulation) Bill 2010’ wants to specify and regulate public services such as education, health, water supply, sanitation, housing, public transport, housing and electricity. If this Bill becomes a law it would be an outright infringement on the States’ legislative powers and an elected State Government’s accountability to its electors with regard to the provision of public services. On the appointment of Chief Justices of High Courts also, the Central Government now-a-days thinks it unnecessary to consult Chief Ministers.
Every BJP/NDA-ruled State including Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, etc suffered grievously at the Centre’s hands. In the case of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand, the Industrial Promotion Package for backward hill states, which lapsed on March 31, 2010, was not renewed. But for Jammu & Kashmir it was extended till 2012 and for North-Eastern States till 2017. The BJP warns the UPA Government to desist from such subversive and underhand activities against elected non-Congress Governments in the states.
One year of chaos, confusion, compromise and corruption
LIKE the general unsatisfactory record of the UPA I; the first year of the UPA II has equally been a year of disappointment and non-achievement. Chaos, confusion, compromise, corruption, inconsistency and incoherence have been the only distinguishing features. Declarations have been made but delivery has been very poor.
It promised to arrest price rise within 100 days, but now after completion of 365 day there is no sign of inflation coming down. The common man continues to suffer as the whole sale price index remains close to double digit whereas the inflation of food prices is at a high of 17-19 per cent. The Congress-led Central Government lacks the will to control inflation. It has failed to explain to the nation why the food economy of surplus left by the NDA has been reduced to an economy of scarcity and inflation. The state of infrastructure and agriculture remains very unsatisfactory. The entire power sector, so crucial for growth, is in real mess. The suicide of farmers continues unabated. Many of the announcements and relief are not able to address the concerns of poor farmers. Employment generation has become a very low priority area. The firmness with which India used to stand up to international pressure on strategic issues is lacking.
Curb Maoist menace
TODAY, there is Maoist presence in almost 210 districts of the country and in 90 of these 210 districts their presence is deeper. Maoism is a militarised movement. The object of the movement is to capture the Indian state through armed struggle and also to establish an ideological dictatorship in place of the parliamentary democracy. They are already in the process of establishing a guerilla army. They want to take control of certain rural areas and through which they want to eventually encircle the cities. Some of these areas have become secluded islands of Maoist control. The BJP is of the clear opinion that India cannot afford to lose this battle against Maoists. We have to strengthen the security situation in areas of Maoist influence. There is a need to coordinate between the Centre and the states. Law and order is a state subject but when law and order problem transgresses into a threat to India’s sovereignty and parliamentary democracy, the central government cannot shrug off its responsibility. The Nation cannot abandon its responsibility by the meaningless debates revolves around the Centre versus State or security versus development. The whole nation needs to speak in one voice. India is prepared to speak in that one voice. However, there are two voices being heard from within the UPA. The nation does not know which of the two voices the Prime Minister supports.