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'The PM didn't fulfill his promises to the people'

April 21, 2009
No, we weren't talking only about Gujarat but that in India generally development is seen as benefiting business.

Seen by who? Who are these people? Maybe something is the problem with their eyes. I have given you examples. My Gujarat has the maximum employment.

There are an estimated 80 million people who live on Rs 20 a day. How can their lives be improved?

They should be given employment opportunities. The people of India are willing to work. In Gujarat we have started a movement to provide opportunities, be it in the agriculture sector, infrastructure sector or service sector. We have created a big movement.

Do you think the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme is a failure?

No, I have not said anything about it.

They are providing work...

Good, but the maximum poverty in India has moved to the cities, rural poverty has declined. Whereas it has gone up in the cities.

Is it because of rural migration to the cities?

Not because of rural migration. In my Gujarat we have the Jyoti Gram Yojana thanks to which rural migration to cities has ended, all arrangements have been made. Very few of our villagers go to cities, which is a very interesting development about Gujarat.

If you provide urban amenities in villages, they will not go to the cities.

Just see, the UPA has released its manifesto, which you have also published on, in which they say they will provide wheat at Rs 3 a kilo to the poor. I was astonished on reading this, that the government in Delhi has no knowledge of what various states are doing for the poor!

In Gujarat we have been providing wheat for the last seven years to those who live below the poverty line at Rs 2 a kg, I have been giving a subsidy of Rs 750 crore from the state treasury. Now I will ask the people, do you want wheat at Rs 2 a kg or Rs 3 a kg? I am giving it cheaper.

This is the state of the Congress party. The Congress had promised that it will provide broadband connectivity across the nation. We are the only state in the world which has broadband connectivity in every village. Thanks to this, today, in my Gujarat, youngsters in the remote areas have enrolled for long-distance education with the best teachers. And the UPA government now talks of providing broadband connectivity! Such a difference!

You don't think the Manmohan Singh government has even one achievement after five years?

I didn't say that. I am saying he did not fulfill his promises to the people. They said they will provide jobs to 1.5 crore people. Did they? They said they will reduce prices. Did they? They said they will repair international relations. Did they? What happened in Nepal? Why don't you ask these questions of them? They will have to answer, in a democracy.

Image: A labourer in Korhar village, Bihar, displays her job card issued under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme, the UPA government's flagship project. Photograph: Reuters.

Also see: Why these Chhattisgarh tribals will not vote | India Votes 2009
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