AK-16: Opening salvo fired at Modi

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kejriwalAHMEDABAD: Just before ending his ‘reality check’ tour of Gujarat on Friday, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal announced a list of 16 questions about the state’s development he wants chief minister Narendra Modi to answer. The questions range from gas and solar power pricing to land, corruption and the state of health and education in Gujarat. Here is the list:

1. If you become the PM, will you raise price of the KG Basin gas, which has already been doubled by the UPA government to $8 per unit?

2. Why does your government buy solar power at Rs 13 per unit? Madhya Pradesh and Karnataka are buying it at Rs 7.50 and Rs 5 per unit, respectively.

3. You claim 11% agriculture growth in state while your government’s data says production has shrunk at 1.18% annually and revenue declined from Rs 27,815 crore in 2006-07 to Rs 25,908 crore in 2012-13. Why?

4. In the past 10 years, two-thirds of all SMEs have shut down in Gujarat, especially in your home town Mehsana where 140 units out of 187 died away. Do you want to concentrate all power in the hands of a few big industrial houses?

5. You claim to have eradicated corruption in Gujarat. People here claim that up to Rs 10 lakh bribe is demanded for appointment of a ‘talati’ (revenue official).

6. Your ministry has people like Babu Bokhiria, convicted for three years in a mining case, and Purshottam Solanki, accused in a Rs 450 crore fishing scandal. Why?

7. Why have you inducted in your cabinet a minister who is the son-in-law of the Ambani family?

8. About 13 lakh people applied for 1,500 posts of ‘talati’ recently. How can you claim to have solved the problem of unemployment?

9. Why is your government exploiting young graduates by paying them only Rs 5,300 per month for five years on contract basis?

10. There are only three teachers to teach 600 students at some schools. What is your comment?

11. Medical and health services are in a shambles.

12. Around 800 farmers have committed suicide in Gujarat in recent years because the government has stopped subsidies and is not paying support prices. Your reaction.

13. Electricity is a distant dream for four lakh farmers waiting for years to get a connection. Why do you claim 24×7 availability of electricity? Farmers have not been paid adequately for their land while the Ambanis and Adanis have got it for just one rupee per square metre.

14. Sardar Sarovar dam’s height was raised in 2005 but people of Kutch have not got water. Industries have been given water. Why?

15. Despite assurances, the Gujarat government has not withdrawn court cases against Sikh farmers of Kutch who have lost their land. Why?

16. How many planes and helicopters do you have? Who owns them? How much do you pay or does someone else pay for them? Why don’t you make public these air expenses?

It’s a publicity stunt: Gujarat govt

Nitin Patel, state finance minister and government spokesperson, in response to Kejriwal’s 16 questions for Modi, said: “What he has done is just cheap publicity stunt. Who is he to question us? We are answerable to the six crore people of Gujarat and 125 crore Indians. PM Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and the Congress have been making such allegations for the last 10 years but people have trusted us. Kejriwal, who is a failed CM himself, has no right to question our CM. It’s like a student with 35% grade questioning the capability of a student with 95% marks.”