Ajay Bhatt, Leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand Assembly
Leader of Opposition in Uttarakhand Assembly Shri Ajay Bhatt is confident that the Congress will bite the dust in Tehri Lok Sabha by-election to be held on October 8. As general secretary of the State BJP for a long time he strengthened the organisation in remote areas. Organiser representative Ravindra Saini spoke to him in Dehradun to discuss the various issues related to Uttarakhand. Excerpts:
What is the scene in Lok Sabha by-election?
Contest is definitely tough. But people are with the BJP. Despite the fact that the Congress is misusing official machinery and the resources, we are sure to snatch the Lok Sabha seat from the Congress.
How do you rate the six months performance of the state government?
The Congress government has utterly disappointed the people. Every corner of the State is facing acute shortage of portable water and scheduled power cuts have become a daily feature. Beside inflation, crime graph has also increased across the State and the government has failed to take effective steps to overcome such problems. This government has reversed most of the people centric decisions taken by the previous BJP government. Atal Khadyanna Yojna was introduced to provide food to the poorest of the poor at cheapest prices but they are not able to avail this facility now.
The Congress has snatched Sitarganj assembly seat also from BJP. What does it mean?
It was not Vijay Bahuguna (as a candidate) but the Chief Minister of Uttarakhand who won the Sitarganj seat. There is no question of the popularity of Congress. Fact is that the Congress has downgraded democracy in the State by buying our MLA Kiran Mandal there. We have demanded a CBI probe into this case.
There are reports that some more BJP MLAs are going to the Congress fold. Does it not show the weakness of the BJP?
All these rumours are being spread by the Congress. Not a single BJP legislator will now go to the Congress. Congress has never respected moral and democratic values.
What are the major failures of the state government and what will the BJP do now?
The Congress government could manage only Rs 400 crore extra from the Planning Commission for current financial year in comparison to Rs 7,800 crore, which were sanctioned in the last financial year. The UPA government has quashed industrial package worth Rs 56,000 crore for the State that would have helped to generate 2.5 lakh employment opportunities in the State if implemented. The Congress government also failed to perform on many other fronts and it is instead focusing on changing the good decisions taken by the previous BJP government. We are not going to sit silent on the growing woes of people.
Transfer of government employees is a big issue in the State. Former BJP government enacted an Act in this regard but the Congress government has abolished it. What do you feel at this decision?
Enactment of Transfer Act was a historical decision taken by our government in the interest of the employees. This Act was brought to weed out corruption and manipulation in transfer of employees. By abolishing the Act, this government has sent the message that it would promote corruption while hapless employees who don’t have any political link, will suffer. I ask the Congress government why Congress MLAs did not raise any question when the Bill was being passed in the Vidhan Sabha in September 2011.
The BJP cadre in the State seems to be demoralised. How will you energise it?
The BJP will focus more on the forthcoming Gram Panchayat polls and would make sure that the party gets maximum seats. People have started feeling that the present coalition government would not long last. The recent fight in Congress has only exposed the chinks that exist in the State Congress. Contrary to the Congress, the BJP is far united.
Are you satisfied with the relief work executed by the government for disaster affected people in Uttarkashi?
Not at all. The foreign tour of most of the Cabinet ministers despite knowing the facts that State is facing disaster shows disappointment over the rescue and relief work being executed by the State government. Even after so many days, government is not having data of loss of human lives, injured and missing person. This government even has failed to provide sufficient medicines, foods and bed and water to the person or families who are residing in relief camps. The government must make special arrangements for the 17 villages, where 5,000 families have cut off from outside the world due to lack of road connectivity since August 3rd cloud burst.