About 40% people in Gujarat live below poverty line: TMC
Kolkata: Taking a dig at Union Home minister Amit Shah's speech delivered during a rally in South 24-Parganas, Trinamool Congress (TMC) leader Bratya Basu on Friday said those who couldn't develop Gujarat were making false promises to voters in Bengal.
The leader claimed 40 per cent of the population in Gujarat lives below the poverty line.
Making a sarcastic reference to 'Bhodor Bahadur'—depicted as a habitual liar in Gaganendranath Tagore's novel—Bratya Basu said Shah's speech at South 24-Parganas reminded him of the protagonist.
"In Gujarat, the major portion of the budget is allocated for land acquisition and giving incentives to corporates. The state government of Gujarat has been dedicating only 2 per cent of its budgetary allocations for the education sector since the past 10 years. Thus, around 45 per cent of the workers in Gujarat are illiterates. As per various surveys, most of these workers have attended school up to the fifth standard only," Basu added. He claimed that the salaries of school teachers in Gujarat are irregular and they had been facing several issues regarding pension.
Basu reiterated that Gujarat spends only 0.8 per cent of its total budgetary allocations for public health. Around 45 per cent children in Gujarat suffer from malnutrition, the TMC leader claimed.
"The rate of death of children is alarming there. In Gujarat, 94 per cent of the workers receive salaries which are the lowest in the country. The government of Gujarat pays the country's lowest workers' subsidy. Five times, the Gujarat High Court has told the state government to take proper steps for the development of Adivasis, Scheduled Castes and fishermen. Thousands of fishermen have lost their houses there," added Basu.
Interestingly BJP had claimed in its manifesto for 2019 that women's welfare and development would be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and the party was committed to 33 per cent reservation in Parliament and state Assemblies through a Constitutional Amendment.
"In reality, the saffron party has not introduced the Women's Reservation Bill and spent Rs 400 crore on an ad campaign for Beti Bachao Beti Parao. Not a single penny was allocated for the initiative in Budget 2021. In contrast, the Kanyashree scheme has benefited 67 lakh girls and Rs 9,400 crore has been spent for the same," Basu said.
He further pointed out that while 31 per cent of TMC MPs in Rajya Sabha are women, BJP has only 13 per cent women MPs. According to Basu, the saffron party has cut a sorry figure in the employment sector. "During the pandemic, the unemployment rate reached the all time high in 45 years, but the same was reduced by 40 per cent in Bengal,"
he said. Basu was also critical about the saffron party's false promise of doubling farmers' income by 2022. "We have already tripled farmers' income in Bengal. With the current pace, BJP will not be able to double the same before 2028," Basu said.
He also pointing out how the Krishak Bandhu scheme in the state has been much more beneficial to Bengal farmers in contrast to PM Kisan.
He also highlighted that the Swasthya Sathi health scheme in Bengal was introduced in 2016, much before the Centre's Ayushman Bharat.