Nowadays, it’s difficult to ignore Mr. Arvind Kejriwal as he is all over the news channels, newspapers and social media. I happened to read the 17 questions which he asked Mr. Narendra Modi and argued that his claims of development are nothing but a farce. Frankly, a person who couldn’t run a government for 49 days questions a CM who is in power for 13 years seems more farcical though. Khair!
As a young voter of this country, I see Narendra Modi as the next Prime Minister and would definitely want him to be one. So, I try to answer the questions to the best of my ability as a ‘Aam Aadmi’.
Q1. 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?
A1. Gujarat is the pioneer Indian state in solar energy. When they started, the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd had signed 88 agreements to buy 971.5 Mw of solar power for 25 years at a blended price of Rs 12.54 a unit. It’s a DAMN AGREEMENT! Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam is pushing for a 25 per cent rate cut from what was agreed in the original power purchase agreements. You should also know, that Gujarat is NOT Madhya Pradesh. The land prices have shot up in the last few years and hence the investors are demanding higher rates. This is plain business. Though being born into a Bania family, I am sure you would understand.
Also, the prices are fixed by the regulators and NOT by the government. In this case Gujarat Electricity Regulatory Commission (GERC) just like prices in Delhi are fixed by DERC.
Q2. 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?
A2. I thought you would have done some reading on this Mr. Kejriwal before raising the question. Narendra Modi’s claim of 11% growth is echoed by the ASSOCHAM report (2011) which says that Gujarat recorded the highest decadal growth from 2001-2010; the time Modi took over as CM. So, for heaven’s sake, read this:
Also, the Gujarat government was presented the Krishi Karman Commendation Award for higher production of food grains in 2013. Of course you will say that all these are corrupt institutions and awards are bought by Modi.
As far as the decline in production you point out, what’s the big deal in that? In a year there might be several reasons ranging from low rainfall, high rainfall, pest attack etc. that can affect the agricultural production. The production might increase in one year and can decrease in another. Understood? Of course, Yes. You are an IITian!
Q3. 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?
A3. ‘Humne suna hai’ – Seriously Mr. Kejriwal? You must have heard some awesome things about Gujarat also, why not believe them too? Reminded of this popular saying in Hindi ‘Hawa mein Teer Chodna’. You “found out” that 140 off industrial units had closed down. Proof? Anything that supports your claim? If yes, we will talk.
Q4. 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).
A4. I will make you meet people in towns and villages who say Arvind Kejriwal is stupid. Will you believe them?
On a serious note, LET’S BE REAL Mr. Kejriwal. There are thousands of employees who work for any state government and it would be indeed foolish to believe that all of them would be honest and won’t take any bribe or gifts. If some of them do, then it is for the people to report the issue to the authorities. Did they report? Of course you didn’t ask them. Did you? If they reported and still no action was taken, then you blame the government.
Q5. 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?
A5. Your minister Somnath Bharti is racist who told women from another country to pee in public and Kumar Vishwas is a male chauvinist who calls the nurses from Kerala ‘Kaali-Peeli’. Couldn’t you find sane-thinking people for your ministry among 9.8 million Delhiites?
Coming to the question, the ministers you mentioned are “accused” and as far as I know being an accused is not the same as being guilty. So, let the law take its own course. If the charges are proven, they will be expelled.
Q6. Why have you inducted in your cabinet a minister who is the son-in-law of the Ambani family?
A6. Is there a law that prohibits induction of a minister who is a relative of any businessman? To my knowledge, NO!
Q7. About 13 lakh people applied for 1,500 posts of ‘talati’ recently. How can you claim to have solved the problem of unemployment?
A7. Err… when did Mr. Modi “claim” that there is NO unemployment in Gujarat? I am told you can find everything on Google, so I did try to search but couldn’t find any such statement. Even the most developed nations suffer from unemployment and it would be idiotic to even expect that a state government can solve the problem of unemployment completely!
Also, there are thousands of people who apply for government post every year but how on earth is this a measure of unemployability? I have a job but if I apply for a government job, then according to you I am unemployed. Don’t you think it’s a VERY BAD measure to analyze the unemployment rate? Meanwhile, you can read this report which says Gujarat has the lowest urban unemployment rate in India.
Gujarat records lowest urban unemployment rate in India
Q8. Why is your government exploiting young graduates by paying them only Rs 5,300 per month for five years on contract basis?
A8. You say why would any ‘educated & self-respected’ individual work for Rs. 5,300. There are lakhs of youths in Indian states who are educated and yet are out of jobs. Sitting at home without job hurts the self-respect most and many even end up their lives.
Whereas, here the Gujarat government is providing the people employment. Is Rs. 5,300 less? Yes; for you and me. But for a person who is sitting idle at home and has the burden of running a family, it is not less. Also, I happen to be a Human Resources professional and whatever little Labor Law I have read, the Gujarat government is no where at fault and is not flouting any of the labor laws laid in the country.
Q9. The state of government schools can be gauged by the fact that only three teachers teach 600 students at some places. What is your comment?
A9. Dear Arvind Kejriwal, before I answer the question let me just throw light on few of the achievements of Gujarat government in education. The concept of ‘smart classrooms’ which is often heard in city schools has made its way to the smallest of villages in Gujarat. The Vataman village of Ahmedabad district & the Ajab village of Junagadh district are live examples where students get to learn through computers and other audio-visual aids. The Punsari village has schools with CCTV Cameras, 24 hour Wi-Fi and solar powered lamps.
With such education system, the country can surely progress. No?
As far as your claims of “finding” colleges with 3 teachers, why don’t you name the colleges? Where are they located? Why don’t you support your claims with proof?
Q10. Medical and health services in Gujarat are in a shambles and in grip of corruption.
A10. In just four days, you came to the conclusion that health care services are crippled in the “entire” state. You can give these superheroes a run for their money yaar!
Coming to the question, again you just vomit out some statements which are not supported by facts or figures. But I will give you facts about the efforts taken by Gujarat government towards improving the health care facilities.
Q11. At least 800 farmers have committed suicide in Gujarat in recent years as the government has stopped subsidies and not paying support prices. What is your reaction?
A11. Again, you just throw figures without quoting any credible source. Though I don’t deny that farmer suicides have occurred in Gujarat like all other states but I have a problem with you blaming the Gujarat government for it.
While replying to an RTI application, the Gujarat government stated that between January 1, 2008 and August 20, 2012, 115 farmers had committed suicide. And most of them had ended their lives because of growing debts caused by crop failure. 115 deaths in the last few years and you say 800. WOW!
By the way, read this How did Gujarat Become a Farming Paradise?
Q12. Four lakh farmers are waiting for years to get electricity connection. How can you claim 24×7 electricity availability?
A12. 4 Lakh farmers without electricity. WOAH! That’s news to me. So, in four days you visited the villages in Gujarat and even got a count of farmers who don’t have electricity? Nice. Why don’t you name these villages?
While you continue to nit-pick, read this story about the scientists in Gujarat working on a novel concept of providing electricity to villagers
Q13.Farmers have not been paid adequately for acquisition of their land for industry while the Ambanis and Adanis have got it for just one rupee per square meter. Some farmers have not been paid any compensation at all.
A13. May be you didn’t know or may be you chose to ignore but the Gujarat government in 2011 revised its compensation figures and introduced a new ‘jantri rate’. which gave the farmers much higher compensation whose land was being acquired. Farmers whose land was specifically acquired for the Narmada canal network benefitted from it. The new janri was three times the old one and the farmers received a 30% hike in the prices. Where is the injustice?
Q14. Despite raising the Sardar Sarovar dam’s height in 2005, the Kutch people have not been provided water but industries have been. Why?
A14. Oh dude! An NGO (AAPke bhai-bandhu) raised this issue few years back and the SUpreme Court REJECTED the plea to increase the quotas of water for Kutch region. You love anarchy and I am sure you will now brand the Supreme Court corrupt but sadly we respect the law of the land.
Q15. Despite assuring Punjab that the Sikh farmers of Kutch will not be deprived of land allotted to them, the Gujarat Government has not withdrawn court cases. Why?
A15. Narendra Modi “assured” that no Sikh farmer will leave Gujarat; he did not assure that their land will be given back. Last I read, farms of 52 farmers have been defreezed and rest cannot be defreezed as they are not farmers or Santhani land-holders as per official records.
As the matter is subjudice, why do you want the government to withdraw the case? What if they win? Will you still hold the same opinion? Why not wait for the judgement?
Q16. How many aircraft and helicopters do you have? And who owns these? How much do you pay or someone else pays? Why don’t you make public these air expenses?
A16. I would have loved had you asked the same question to all the Chief Ministers but you seem to have a personal grudge against Modi. Next, you will ask him how many underwear you have? Jockey or VIP?
A person who overstays in the government bungalow even after resigning as the Chief Minister, gives his ministers brand new Toyota cars, takes a Religare private jet sponsored by India Today doesn’t deserve an answer on this.
Q17. If you become the PM, will you raise the price of the KG Basin gas, which has already been doubled by the UPA government to $8 per unit?
A17. Hypothetical Question. Yawn! Why should he talk about his policies even before he has become the Prime Minister. One thing is for sure but that it won’t be and should not be free like the water in Delhi.
The views expressed are that of the author and are not in any manner endorsed or agreed – disagreed to by Hill Post