The Gujarat Congress released a 22-point ‘charge sheet’ against the state BJP government on Sunday ahead of the upcoming Assembly polls, accusing it of being anti-people.
All that an average Gujarati got was “hunger, fear and tyranny,” it claimed.
The opposition party also highlighted in the ‘charge sheet’ the recent Morbi bridge collapse incident which claimed 135 lives, and dubbed as “unconstitutional” the release of 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano gang-rape case and murder of seven members of her family during the Gujarat riots.
Elections to the 182-member Gujarat Assembly will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
The last three decades of Gujarat have been marred by “continuous anti-people governance and mismanagement,” the Congress said in the ‘charge sheet’.
The opposition party appealed to the public to vote it to power to make the “Gujarat of Mahatma Gandhi and Sardar Patel proud again”.
“At a time when the BJP is working to divert the attention of the public from main issues affecting them, this charge sheet has been released to draw their attention back to these issues,” former Union minister and senior Congress leader Bharatsinh Solanki said at a press conference.
The ‘charge sheet’ also claimed the Morbi bridge collapse incident of October 30 was a “BJP-created disaster” and that the ruling party and its cronies were directly responsible for it.
“The Morbi tragedy is the direct outcome of BJP’s corruption where human life holds no value,” it further claimed.
On the remission granted to 11 convicts in the Bilkis Bano case, the Congress said the government ignored established rules and convention to release them.
“The decision has unmasked the BJP and its concern for the safety and security of women,” the charge sheet said.
It also claimed there was an effort to encroach upon the Gujarat Vidyapith founded by Mahatma Gandhi by “dubious means” after Governor Acharya Devvrat was appointed its chancellor.
In sarcastic remarks, the Congress ‘charge sheet’ said the “achievements” of the BJP government include enriching a few pro-regime industrialists at the cost of government exchequer, destroying the state’s economy, widespread increase in poverty and rampant rise in prices of essential commodities.
The rise in unemployment, commercialisation of education, lack of safety for women, mismanagement of the COVID-19 pandemic, communal politics, and continuous maltreatment and neglect of citizens belonging the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes are the other “achievements” of the ruling party, it added.
“The BJP talks about GDP (Gross Domestic Product), development and ‘double-engine’ government, but it changed the entire government due to failure of the single engine of the Vijay Rupani government,” Solanki claimed.
“The GDP rose 18-23 per cent in the previous governments of the Congress. The state recorded a negative growth of 1.35 per cent under the BJP government,” he further claimed.
The ‘charge sheet’ also referred to inflation, rising poverty, loss of confidence among investors, debt trap, unemployment crisis, ignored healthcare with reduction of health budget, rampant malnutrition and 90 per cent shortage of total specialists.
The opposition party also claimed that Gujarat lagged behind other states in educational indices.
“In the last five-six years, there have been 22 cases of leak of exam papers. I would like to appeal to the youth that when they go to vote, they should remember how the BJP government played with their future,” state Congress spokesperson Alok Sharma told reporters.
The Congress also claimed that farmers were cheated in the BJP rule with the lowest farm wages, low minimum support price (MSP) and high indebtedness.
In 2021, there were nine suicides per day by daily wage earners and those engaged in farm labour, it claimed.
The ‘charge sheet’ also raised the issues of crony capitalism, scams, rampant corruption, electricity supply issues, ignorance of tribal welfare, lack of security among Dalits, law and order situation, exploitation of workers, mistreatment of government employees and “demolition” of the Panchayati Raj system.