New Delhi: The Bhupendra Patel government in Gujarat completes 200 days in office on Saturday, April 2, 2002.
The new BJP dispensation in the western Indian state was formed on September 13, 2021, when the leadership had decided to overhaul the entire ministry.
It was a politically crucial decision as the state is set for elections later this December. The BJP has been in power since 1995, barring a brief spell and hence the incumbency factor weighs a lot.
Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel is busy these days, and he has to do a lot of travelling. Nevertheless, he exudes confidence that his party will do well.
“We are taking the electoral battle in a positive sense. There is no room for negativity. Hum Jeetne ke liye ladengene,” says a soft-spoken Patel.
Of course, Gujarat has leapt forward in more ways than one since this government took charge. Among other sectors, the state government is prioritising the welfare of the younger generation and education. A roadmap for the next four years has been prepared to develop world-class universities in the state. Heritage tourism is being promoted in a big way.
“IT and IteS Policy 2022 has been launched in Gujarat with a target of annual export of Rs.25,000 crore in the IT sector. This will generate one lakh new jobs in next five years,” a senior official said.
A new Sports Policy and Biotechnology Policy too have been announced. Kaushalya- the Skill University has been established to develop the skills of five lakh students.
Among other schemes, the Poshan Sudha Yojana’, which provides supplementary nutrition to pregnant mothers in tribal areas, will be extended to 72 more talukas, and Rs 118 crore has been allocated for the purpose.
As part of another scheme, women of rural areas and small farmers will get economic support for collecting Limboli, Neem seeds.
The official also said that nearly 93 per cent of works under the Nal Se Jal program has been completed. The work is aimed to be 100 per cent completed by September 2022.
A provision of Rs. 310 crore has been made in the budget for the works on the 143-kilometre bulk pipeline to be established at the NavdaBotad-Gadhda-Chavand and from Budhel to Borda. This will ensure proper water management for the Saurashtra region.
Moreover, a plan worth Rs. 4369 crore has been approved to provide additional 1 million acre-feet of Narmada water to Kachchh for irrigation.
Asked whether AAP can throw up a challenge to the BJP, Chief Minister Patel categorically remarked that any party may try and sweat it out during elections.
“After I became Chief Minister, there were Gandhinagar Municipal polls.Everyone said the AAP will come to power, but our party won as many as 41 out of 44. Earlier, the BJP was never in a majority because it used to win about 50 per cent of the seats only,” he said.
To a question on minorities in the state, the Chief Minister told ‘Organiser’, “There is one clear policy in Gujarat that no one should face problems and our government is doing whatever is required to improve the life of every citizen. The schemes and policies in Gujarat and under our party are for all citizens irrespective of religion.”