Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Haryana: Enhancing quality of democratic representation for a
 Democracy that delivers 

The question of palpable tensions between elect-ability and functional ability of an elected representative has always figured as a prominent theme in contemporary discourse about democracy world over. This discourse often opens with a matter of fact-ly observation that democracies are increasingly being seen as failing to deliver. Many believe that while acceptability of democracy continues to be unquestionable, there is enough empirical evidence suggesting that efficacy of democratic governance has always remained doubtful.

Of the several factors responsible for this abysmally low result-orientation of democratic governance, the most commonly discussed is about the quality of elected representatives. Those who get party nomination, by hook and in some parties possibly even by crook; are more often than not, unable to boast of any high personal qualification. Electability or ability to get elected remains the single most decisive factor in award of candidature. This is bound to affect quality of representation, impacting on deliberations, decision-making and delivery in a democratic set up.   And being a part of competitive democratic polity, there is obvious limitation for any single party taking a meritocratic view. Obviously then, electability becomes the common single denominator leading to a situation where people get a representative that they in fact do not deserve.

Driven by the need to overcome this quality-crunch, democracies in different countries have evolved some screening mechanisms. Measures such as Term-Limit to facilitate entry of fresh blood, qualifying thresholds for parties and candidates, age limit and similar such regulatory provisions were introduced by different countries at different levels.

Last August, Haryana amended the existing law mandating that matriculation is required for a general male candidate, middle pass for a general woman candidate and for Scheduled Caste (SC) male candidate and only Class 5 pass for a SC woman candidate, as minimum educational qualification to be eligible for contesting the elections to the Gram Panchayats or village bodies and other Panchayati Raj institutions. Besides, possessing a functional toilet at home was also made a mandatory eligibility criterion.

Many opposed these amendments and it was later contested in the apex court as well. It was argued that whether man or woman, SC or general, the functions of a pnchayat member is the same and hence if a Class 5 pass is enough to discharge a members function, why has a higher qualification of middle pass and matriculation pass been imposed? It was also argued that the amendment goes against the spirit behind the principle of adult franchise. However, much to the dismay of the critics, the apex court upheld the amendment, which is now in force. In fact, the State went ahead with elections to village bodies under this amended act and the impact of the same is highly remarkable and hence noteworthy!

There are many achievements that have truly created a new history. For the first time, Haryana, a State that had acquired a bad name for female feticide saw several young women making it to the positions of Sarpanch! Also, most elections were held without any violence, the reason being that many congenial hooligans were automatically driven out of the fray.

It has also helped achieve greater gender justice as the number of women making it to rural local self-government institutions has gone beyond the quota limit of 33%. The State has as many as 43% women members across its Zilla Parishads while in Taluka Panchayats the number of women is 42%. More importantly, a total of 41% villages are now headed by a woman as its Chief, or Sarpanch.

A by-product of this new measure making minimum education mandatory is the fierceness of the contests disappeared hugely. Of the total 70071 seats for which elections were held, on as many as 39249 seats the elections were unanimous. This takes the number of Consensus Candidates to a whopping 56% ! Again, of the total 6187 Sarpanchs elected, 274 got the mandate unanimously.

Much to the surprise of many, this amendment, being assailed as 'meritocracy' -promotion has also led to social democracy with greater representation to the marginal sections of the society. Table below is a testimony to the fact that many more backward class candidates have made it to the elected bodies, leaving the statutory quota figures far behind.

 Panchayati Raj body
Percentage of seats reserved for SC/BC
Percentage of actual seats won by SC/BC
Zilla Parishads
Panchayat Samiti
Positions of Sarpanch
Positions of Panchs

Those who relish in falsely portraying BJP the fall guy would do well to understand that one of the BJP ruled states has sent several backward class candidates from non-quota seats to the elected bodies promoting greater social harmony.

Not only SABKA Sath, but the verdict of Haryana Panchayat elections has also brought the yearning for SABKA Vikas to the fore. In a way, this is an example of democratisation of aspirations too. Manju, first time entrant to village Panchayat from Janoli in Palwal wants to make her village a model village while Sunita, newly elected Sarpanch of Village Nagpur from Fatehabad district has resolved to make villagers addiction free. Also noteworthy is the fact that with toilet-at-home as a mandatory qualification for the contestants, the State saw construction of as many as 51530 toilets in record period of time, a feat unheard of! 

However, one thing is beyond doubt! The real test of the impact of these amendments will be in the way these representatives conduct themselves. This will largely depend upon the quality of deliberations, decision-making and delivery. Also under the watch will be their public conduct. Happily both, the State Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Rural Development Minister O P Dhankad together architects of these reforms -- are conscious of this and they are working on a massive capacity building campaign of these newly elected representatives.

When popular confidence in democracy is under severe strains mainly due to the quality of public representation, although debatable; reforms oriented experiments are always very important. Not satisfied with mere shedding tears about degeneration's in our democratic system, particularly the quality of representation; Haryana has taken a bold step. Apex court has already validated these reforms. Now, it is for the new entrants in Haryanas Panchayati Raj institutions to establish that quality representation also leads to good governance, leading to achieving egalitarian goals of a society where justice, harmony and avenues for aspirations are accessible to all.

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe is the National Vice-President of the BJP. Views expressed here are in personal capacity. 

Monday, February 8, 2016

अमित शाह : अध्यक्ष के नाते उल्लेखनीय योगदान!

जब हमारी आदत विषयों पर “अतिसाधारण सोच-विचार” की पड़ जाती है, तो उसमें एक प्रकार की जड़ता आ जाती है। हमें जो सामने दिखायी देता है, हम उसके आगे नहीं देख पाते है। फलस्वरूप संदर्भित विषय का गहराई से विश्लेषण नहीं हो पाता है और निहित अर्थों को समझने में भी हम असमर्थ रहते है।

अमित शाह जी के दोबारा भारतीय जनता पार्टी के राष्ट्रीय अध्यक्ष बनने पर जो न्यूज रिपोर्टिंग हुई और जो सम्पादकीय टिप्पणियाँ लिखी गयीं, उनमें भी कुछ ऐसा ही देखने को मिला। बेशक, वे प्रधानमंत्री श्री नरेन्द्र मोदी जी के सबसे निकटतम और विश्वस्त व्यक्ति हैं। परंतु ‘अतिसाधारीकरण’ से वशीभूत होकर अनेक राजनैतिक विश्लेषकों ने शाह के योगदान की अनदेखी की है। विगत 18 महीने के उनके अध्यक्षीय कार्यकाल के दौरान उन्होंने पार्टी को आगे बढ़ाने में जो श्रेष्ठ काम किया है, वह इतना उल्लेखनीय है कि उसकी अनदेखी नहीं की जा सकती। उनका संक्षिप्त “प्रथम कार्यकाल” महत्वपूर्ण मानने के प्रमुख कारण हैं :-

1. मोदी और शाह ने मिलकर सफलतापूर्वक यह सुनिश्चित किया कि सत्ता में आने के बाद पार्टी व संगठन का महत्व कम न हो। आज सरकार और संगठन के बीच पूर्ण समन्वय है। इसका प्रमुख कारण दोनों के बीच का आपसी गहन संवाद और परिपक्व पारस्परिक सहयोग है। विगत 18 माह में यह बात आदर्श रूप से देखने को मिली। प्रधानमंत्री जी स्वयं नियमित रूप से पार्टी के मुख्यालय पर जाकर राष्ट्रीय तथा विकास के कार्यक्रमों में पार्टी कार्यकर्ताओं की भागीदारी सुनिश्चित करते हैं और इसी वजह से सभी जगह सुदृढ़ नेतृत्व स्पष्ट दिखायी दे रहा है।

इस तरह का सुदृढ़ राजनैतिक नेतृत्व राष्ट्र के लिये बहुत जरूरी है। हमने यह बखूबी देखा है कि कांग्रेस के शासनकाल के समय में उनके कुछ प्रसिद्ध प्रधानमंत्रियों के कार्यकाल में किस तरह “पार्टी-संगठन” उनकी निजी संस्था हो जाती थी। पूरे देश ने यह देखा था कि कांग्रेस पार्टी के एक उपाध्यक्ष ने किस तरह लोगों के बीच मंच से अपनी छवि बनाने के लिये अपनी ही सरकार के विधेयक को सार्वजनिक रूप से फाड़कर फेंक दिया था

2. चार राज्यों के विधानसभा चुनाव में लगातार जीत हासिल करके तथा झारखण्ड, महाराष्ट्र व हरियाणा में भाजपा की सरकार बनवाकर अमित शाह ने अपनी पार्टी के राजनीतिक जनाधार को और बढ़ाया है। जम्मू-कश्मीर में भाजपा की भागीदारी वाली सरकार का बनना एक ऐतिहासिक व अभूतपूर्व उपलब्धि है। पार्टी के लोग जानते हैं कि इसके लिये अमित शाह ने कितने “दृढ़-संकल्प” और कर्मठता के साथ काम किया है।

3. पार्टी कार्यकर्ताओं में “राष्ट्र-प्रथम” का भाव मजबूत करने के लिये शाह ने बहुत कड़ी मेहनत की है। उन्होंने कार्यकर्ताओं को विशेष रूप से तीन रचनात्मक कार्यों में संलग्न होने के लिये प्रेरित किया। इनमें कन्या भ्रूण हत्या रोकने के लिए “बेटी बचाओ” और स्कूलों में कन्याओं के “ड्रॉप-आउट” कम करने तथा गंगा को स्वच्छ बनाने के लिये चलाये जा रहे “नमामि गंगा प्रोजेक्ट” ही नहीं, अपितु किसी भी जिले की एक नदी को स्वच्छ बनाने में भागीदार होने और सिर पर मैला ढोने वाले लोगों के पुनर्वास के लिये काम करना शामिल हैं।

एक कार्यक्रम में उन्होंने कार्यकर्ताओं को भी स्पष्ट किया कि बड़ी संख्या में लोगों को कार्यकर्ताओं के रूप में नामांकित करने का काम पार्टी को चुनाव जिताने की ‘मशीन’ में बदलना नहीं है। भाजपा इस मशीन के लिये नहीं, बल्कि ‘मिशन’ राजनीति के लिये है। भाजपा ऐसी राजनीति के लिये,जिसका उद्देश्य लोगों की सेवा करना है। पार्टी की सदस्यता को 10 करोड़ से अधिक करके और पूरे देश में कम समय में त्रिस्तरीय प्रशिक्षण कार्यक्रम संपन्न करके उन्होंने अद्भुत उपलब्धि हासिल की है।

4. पार्टी संगठन के रणनीतिक विस्तार में भी उनकी उपलब्धियाँ महत्वपूर्ण हैं। उन्होंने हमेशा उन राज्यों पर फोकस किया, जिन्हें हम "कोरोमण्डल राज्य'' कहते हैं। इनमें केरल, तमिलनाडु, आन्ध्रप्रदेश, तेलंगाना, ओडीसा और पश्चिम बंगाल तथा केन्द्र शासित प्रदेश पुदुचेरी भी शामिल हैं। वह इस बात को अच्छी तरह समझते हैं कि पर्याप्त जनादेश पाने के लिये भाजपा को हिन्दीभाषी क्षेत्र से आगे जाकर काम करना होगा।

5. उन्होंने सामाजिक क्षेत्र में भाजपा की पहुँच बढ़ाने के लिये भी महत्वपूर्ण काम किये। भविष्य की संभावनाओं के प्रति हमेशा सजग रहने वाले शाह ने पार्टी संगठन में “ओबीसी मोर्चा” के रूप में एक और अनुषांगिक संगठन जोड़ा। वह अच्छी तरह जानते हैं कि पार्टी को अपना जनादेश बढ़ाने के लिये अन्य पिछड़ा वर्गों के बीच मजबूत आधार बनाना होगा।

6. राजनैतिक विश्लेषकों द्वारा पार्टी की कार्य-प्रणाली को संस्थागत स्वरूप देने के लिये उनके द्वारा किये गये प्रयासों की भी अनदेखी की गयी है। सच यह है कि पहली बार उन्होंने पार्टी कार्य के लिये 18 विभाग गठित किये हैं, जिन्हें स्पष्ट रूप से “परिभाषित” कार्य सौंपे गये हैं। इसमें अनेक गैर-पारम्परिक विभाग शामिल हैं जैसे- नीति, शोध, ई-लायब्रेरी, दस्तावेजीकरण और कार्यालय आधुनिकीकरण। प्रत्येक जिले में पार्टी के स्वामित्व वाला कार्यालय उनका सपना है और वह इसे हकीकत में बदलने के लिये लगातार काम कर रहे हैं।

सरकार और संगठन के बीच मजबूत संबंध, भाजपा का चुनावी विस्तार, भाजपा कार्यकर्ताओं में ध्येयशीलता का विकास, भाजपा के रणनीतिक विस्तार के लिये कार्य, सामाजिक क्षेत्र में कार्यों का दायरा बढ़ाना और पार्टी के कार्य को अधिक संस्थागत व व्यवस्थित स्वरूप देना शाह की प्रमुख 6 उपलब्धियाँ हैं।

राजनीतिक पंडितों और विश्लेषकों को याद रखना चाहिये कि शाह की इस सांगठनिक व राजनैतिक कार्यकुशलता की बदौलत ही उन्हें पार्टी का पुनः अध्यक्ष बनने का अवसर मिला है।

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

‘Policy-Matters’ cause policy matters for sure! 

 Vinay Sahasrabuddhe 

Dictionary of Policy and Government defines Policy as follows: “policy – (noun) a detailed plan of how something will be done.” Traditionally, mostly at the popular level policy is considered as something dry, theoretical and at times irrelevant to day-to-day lives of the people. However, in reality most parts of our lives are controlled by; what they call as Policy Regimes. Policies aimed at liberalization, privatization and globalization changed our lives in the last decade of the previous century. Car manufacturing industry reaped the harvest and in India we started choosing from several options of vehicles of different makes, thanks to probably a wanton disregard of growing need for a smart, dependable Urban Public Transport Policy implemented in every city. It is the Policy or the lack of it made us witness contradictions in public administration in several ways. We had grains stored in the open; allowed to rotten in rainy season and shortage of food grain for the marginal sections. Students from the North- East subjected to humiliation for their distinct facial features and our school geography syllabus compelling us to learn about Brazil and Nigeria more than Nagaland and Arunachal Pradesh. Government wanting to reduce crude oil import bill and disallowing use of ethanol in petroleum products, at the same time. Continuing with the department of prohibition in several States on the one hand and encouraging production of wine on the other. Consistency, Jawaharlal Nehru had famously said; is the virtue of an ass and like Nehruvian secularism; we are yet to free ourselves from the hangover of this crass theorization of contradictions.    

In today’s world, where governance has acquired a place of prominence in public mind and people are becoming more and more aware and alert on issues of public concern, it is necessary that every citizen acquire at least fundamental policy-literacy. After all Public policies are the instruments of State intervention in the political economy. These policies set out the plans and strategies of government in trying to work effectively for the larger good of the people. Therefore, it is important that the content of policies meet the aspirations of the people at large.

Evolution of public policy is largely considered as the domain essentially that of experts and researchers. However, off late; with the continuing spread of democracy and renewed emphasis on public participation, there appears  a healthy trend of citizenry taking keen interest in public policy issues. With continued erosion of the quality of governance in major democracies and the resultant frustration, it is significant that the level of interest of the people at large in policy issues in rapidly enhancing. People are the principal stake-holders in any democratic polity and hence no citizen can afford to be ignorant, much less unconcerned about public policy.

Through this column, what we want to attempt is promoting greater policy literacy, creating a space for policy education and ultimately public scrutiny of policies and thereby aiming at policy transformation, wherever required. This is a long drawn process that can become interesting only if as citizens we are able to appreciate the organic relationship between several issues concerning the desired quality of our life and the present situation. Understanding policy issues is a two-way process. Policy makers need to listen to people for sure, but people also have to say something! Lets therefore share our ideas, experiences, impressions and criticisms of the prevailing policy regime and in our own way and together, take this discussion ahead. Through changing the shape of the things to come we can achieve shaping the change, beyond doubt!

Vinay Sahasrabuddhe

Friday, March 21, 2014

2014 : Politics of Performance : Notes 01 

Conserving forests, involving people..
A Note on few unique forest conservation efforts in Gujarat being released on the occasion on World Forestry Day. March 21st 2014 

In a democratic polity, politics ideally has to be about ideas. Electoral competition essentially needs to be around thoughts and concepts and their relationship with basic human values as well as practicality.  Unfortunately, our electoral campaigns have always focused more on personalities than principles. In this atmosphere, I thought I could share some  ideas that have been successfully implemented in Gujarat  with regards to forest and forest conservation on the occasion of World Forest Day.

Fast depleting forest cover is a major challenge before the Humanity today, goes without saying. This happens because typically, the ownership and hence responsibility of conservation always remains with the government. Understandably then, not only to people at large but also to those who dwell in the forests, forest conservation becomes an alien process. This brings in a crisis of ownership.  Whether it is the question of receding levels of ground water table or shrinking forest cover, unless people are made to realize that not the government but they themselves are the real stakeholders in conservation of natural resources, saving the task of Mother Nature will remain just another government programme. Hence, very rightly Gujarat govt insisted that greater peoples participation always has to be at the centre of Mission Conservation.

Two examples are quite revealing! The first one is about an experiment that was undertaken in Gujarat. The forest department embarked on a unique initiative named as Canopy Plantation Programme. Conceptualised in 2009, the programme aims at promoting bio diversity, ensuring climate proofing, promoting disease resistance in plant species and restoring forest cover. However, at the core of this programme is the forest dweller. This programme has proved to be offering a socio economic umbrella over the forest dependent tribals who can then utilise the produce from the plantations for income generation. The canopy thus acts as a source of economic security for the dependent population. This programme has been designed in such a way that it provides multiplier benefits especially to the Below Poverty Line (BPL) tribal population in the State.

Now, forward market linkages are being established for the products too. Marketing of the products is done through existing local channels with the Forest Department giving leverage to the local people to sell their products at competitive prices. Off late efforts are afoot to brand these forest products with the help of specialists.

The second example is that of the Vanbandhu Yojana and other initiatives. When one thinks of forests, the thought of forest dweller communities, especially the tribals has to be at the top of your mind. To further the government-forest dwellers partnership, what is essential is giving land rights to tribal people. Now, The 1.10 lakh tribals from Gujarat have become owners of over 10.25 lakh acres of forest land. The land ownership documents have been given to tribals as part of the state government's commitment to implement the Forest Rights Act, 2006. Under the Rs.15, 000-crore Vanbandhu Kalyan Yojna for the welfare of the tribal, the State Government has embarked upon empowerment oriented schemes and programmes. Opening Coaching Centres for MBBS entrance tests in every tribal taluka, opening Engineering Colleges and Industrial Training Institutes (ITIs), Science Stream Schools, Nursing and Physiotherapy Colleges and Agro-Polytechnics in different tribal talukas feature in our Vanbandhu Yojana. So far, Vanbandhu Yojna has achieved a huge success in uplifting economical growth of the tribals through farming and animal-husbandry. Tribals are also being encouraged for opting for organic farming

Whether Vanbandhu Yojana or the ambitious bio-diversity programme the core thinking is the same. Central to all these programmes is the realization of the intense interdependence between livelihood security and ecological security. Gujarat government is aware that people living in bio-diverse areas have acquired rich indigenous ecological knowledge through generations of interaction with local ecosystems, which they have shaped, and which, in turn have shaped their cultures, lifestyles and livelihoods.

Efforts to partner with the people have two other aspects too. Firstly, this process requires establishing a linkage between popular folk-culture and conservation needs. Secondly, it also requires bringing in innovative ideas showcasing some out of the box thinking. In  their efforts to make development issues a part of the popular ethos, looks like they have embarked upon the idea of Cultural Forests, one step ahead of social forestry.

The objective of establishing Sanskritik Vans or cultural forests is to increase active participation of the people and create awareness among them. Such plantations are planned according to various Indian traditions like Navgraha Van, Nakashatra Van, Rashi Van, Panchvati, Trithankar, Saptarshi, Shriparni, Arogya Van etc., which have become popular amongst people of Gujarat.

Remarkably, Gujarat has succeeded in conservation of mangroves. Gujarat, which had 427 sq km of mangrove forest cover in 1987, increased it phenomenally to 1045 sq km by 2009.  Today, it has increased further. 

Another important feature is that Gujarat perhaps is among the few States where you can see Women Forest Guards, protecting the wild life resolutely. While appointing women as guards, factors like the natural tendency of women to foster togetherness and their indomitable convincing power were taken into consideration. We can reasonably conclude that women guards have facilitated the process of emotionally connecting the village and other communities with the wildlife. Wildlife conservation is a combined effort of checking poaching activities as well as creating a favorable atmosphere where wildlife and humans can live symbiotically.  The women forest guards have successfully taken care of both these aspects.

Take for example, Manisha Vaghela, a woman guard who single handedly caught a gang of poachers in the year 2011. Like Manisha, several other women forest guards are also very pro-actively discharging their duties. As a result the population of Gir lions has increased.

Democratic governance is all about enabling people to shape their own destiny.  Narendrabhai has always believed citizens to be instrumental in ushering positive change in their own lives. The remarkable aspect of Gujarat's Forest and Environment protection initiatives has been that they usually addresses both, the ecological as well as economic concerns of society. As Ban Ki Moon, the Secretary-General of the United Nations has said, we must begin to create a model for a 21st century economy that rejects the myth that there must be a zero-sum trade-off between growth and the environment, meaning growth and environmental protection have to go hand in hand. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

Postmortem of Kejri-cry

A point-by-point response to questions raised and rebuttal of irresponsible allegations made by Arvind Kejriwal 

(A compilation of authentic inputs for public education) 
On Gas Pricing

·      It was BJP leader Yashwant Sinha who led the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gas Pricing, which gave a researched yet aggressive critique of the gas pricing policies seeking a re-think on the formulation of pricing through recommendations of the Rangarajan formula and urging the UPA government to review its decision to increase prices from April 2014.[1] The report makes these points mainly:

1.    The Committee advised the government to subject gas producers to closer regulation, especially on aspects of cost recovery and technical parameters related to production.

2.    The Committee opined that the contractor responsible for supplying gas from the KG-D6 gas field should deliver the shortfall in supply at the original price and not be allowed to take advantage of a possible upward price revision.
3.    Expressing concerns about the adverse impact on different sectors of a possible price rise due the implementation of the new formula, the Committee suggested that the government re-think elements of the formula and impose a cap on the price suggested by it.
4.    The Committee expressed the view that the government needs to do a thorough impact study of gas pricing on the core sectors of power, fertiliser, steel and small scale industry.

·      It is also important to remind Kejriwal that Gujarat’s Energy Minister Shri Saurabh Patel has also expressed his disappointment and opposition to the gas pricing which would lead to increased rates.[2]

·      Coming to Kejriwal’s charge of undue favours to Ambani, this is again a blind allegation in which Arvind Kejriwal specializes. Gujarat under Narendra Modi has seen transparent governance which has cut red tape and corruption tremendously.

·      The question to be asked to Arvind Kejriwal is that why did his party not raise its voice or demand any FIR in the Augusta Westland case which directly involved Sonia Gandhi? Did their political alliance play a part or it has more to do with the personal closeness of Arvind Kejriwal to the Sonia Gandhi & the NAC nexus?

On Agricultural Growth

Again Kejriwal used non existent figures to rubbish the most exceptional story of transformation in agriculture. Gujarat has indeed grown at close to 11% in the last decade. This data sourced from the Gujarat Socio Economic Survey proves him a liar once again. Gujarat has indeed been growing at 11% in the past decade.

Electricity Supply

Gujarat’s Jyotigram Yojna has been lauded over the country & in the world for revolutionising agriculture in rural areas. It has also been recommended as the ideal model by planning panel as well.

On subsidies to farmers, At a time when electricity consumers in Gujarat are paying about Rs 5 for every unit of electricity, farmers in the state are getting the same at a subsidised rate of just 56 paise. [3]

On Crony Capitalism
·      By asking such questions Arvind Kejriwal tries to indulge in innuendo, which has been the characteristic of the AAP. However if he did just some research on Gujarat and it’s progress in the last decade, the answers are clearly visible.

·      Under Narendra Modi’s rule in Gujarat, businesses have thrived and progressed immensely. Not only Adani, almost all industrial houses have done well in Gujarat. This is due to absence of red tape and excellent infrastructure in Gujarat. These policies of the Gujarat Government have directly benefitted the common man, by increasing employment opportunities & incomes.

·      Even the PSUs which were loss making entities in Gujarat before Narendra Modi came to power, are making great profit now. While they incurred a loss of 2702 crore in 2001, the same companies turned a profit of 4041 crores in 2012-13.

·      The per capita income in Gujarat has grown at the fastest rate in Gujarat in the entire country in the last decade. SMEs & MSMEs have also blossomed like never before. There are many success stories in Gujarat, which is truly the growth engine of India.

·      If he is specifically interested in only Adani, he should also know that Adani has invested in Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Goa, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Assam apart from Gujarat. In addition to it, the Group has made investment in Indonesia for coal mining project and Australia for port and coal mining projects. It’s investments in Gujarat comprise of only 35% of its total investments.

·      Hence questioning ties between Adani group and the Gujarat CM is just nonsensical. Also all the exchanges between the Gujarat Government and the company are in public domain, unlike the AAP which holds closed door meetings in hotels with industrialists to make political deals.
Health & Education
·      Arvind Kejriwal would be pleasantly surprised to know that Gujarat’s performance in education, health and helping farmers is indeed a model for the nation.

·      The Modi Government with its Kanya Kelvani and Shala Praveshotsav programme in Mission Mode focused attention on primary education in the State for the first time. At the time Mr. Modi became Chief Minister the drop out rate in primary education was as high as 20%. These means that one in every five children dropped out of school at the end of class V. In 2012-13, this has come down to 2.04 .

·      This huge success in education was due to more money being spent on education especially in building infrastructure. The performance of Gujarat is far better than the National performance which can be seen below:

o   99% of schools in Gujarat have  electricity Vs 72% nationally
o   82% of schools in Gujarat have ramp facility Vs 53% nationally
o   89% of schools in Gujarat have boundary walls Vs 58% nationally
o   100% of schools in Gujarat have girls toilets Vs 72% nationally
o   100% of schools in Gujarat have drinking water Vs 23% nationally
·      According to the latest figures of IMR are for 2012, released by Registrar General in 2013 IMR of Gujarat has declined by 33% as compared to decline of 30% for All India between 2003 and 2012. Gujarat’s IMR at 38 is lower than the All India IMR of 42 hence Gujarat’s IMR has declined from 57 in 2003 to 38 in 2012.

·      Gujarat had a rank of 10 in 15 Bigger States in SRS 2005. This rank improved to 8th in 19 Bigger States which have been taken up in SRS 2013. Also important to note that in Gujarat IMR reduced from 69 in 1991 to 60 in 2001, but in the next 11 years decreased from 60 to 38! Hence Gujarat has done well in reducing IMR and this indicates that growth in Gujarat has been Inclusive.

·      It is interesting to see Arvind Kejriwal raise similar questions on farmer suicides which was raised by his Rahul Gandhi sometime back. Gujarat has an excellent track record in not being known for farmer suicides. The states of Andhra Pradesh & Maharashtra are known for farmer suicides.

·      If any party is responsible for farmer suicides, it is Congress Party. Also Maharashtra & Andhra Pradesh, two Congress ruled states have the highest no of suicide cases in India.

·      According to a reply given in the Lok Sabha[4], Andhra Pradesh recorded 7303 while Maharashtra recorded 10,264 deaths in 2010, 2011, 2012. It is ironic that Arvind Kejriwal asks this question to Narendra Modi when it is the party who he was associated with previously which is responsible for most farmer deaths.
·      Gujarat has the country’s best record in BT Cotton but the state has make excellent arrangements for provision of infrastructure and inputs, especially water and has been able to avoid farmer suicides.

·      It would be good if Arvind Kejriwal answers what has AAP Government done in Delhi. Rapes continue abetted. Racial crimes are flourishing. Infact their ministers are indulging in racism. As many as 174 people are reported to have dies in Delhi due to cold in 23 days of AAP regime itself. Even the NHRC had to step in and question the death of people due to cold.
Facts on the Purshottam Solanki case

No proven findings against Purshottam Solanki
·      Primarily imperative to ask anyone who levels any allegations against Purshottam Solanki as to what are the charges against him? If he/she is aware of the case details?
o   Whether there is a court order against him?
o   Whether there is a CAG finding against him?
o   Whether any allegation of corruption has been proved in a court against him?
o   Whether his actions have led to a loss to the public exchequer?
o   Whether there is any allegation of a quid pro quo?

·      The reality is there is no chargesheet/no court finding against Purshottam Solanki.
 His decision was in the larger interest of the community
·      Being from the fishermen community himself, the Minister for Fisheries Purshottam Solanki,  took a decision in the interest of the fishermen community by allowing communities, co-operatives, displaced & adversely impacted people to get contracts for fishing at upset prices. This decision was actually a medium of Empowerment for the local communities.

·      Some private individuals went to the High Court against this decision. The High Court asked the Government of Gujarat to study the matter and take appropriate decision.

·      The Cabinet studied all aspects of the case extensively and deduced that no spurious practice was followed by Purshottam Solanki in the case.

Governor gave sanction to prosecute disregarding Cabinet opinion
·      But the Governor of Gujarat, in yet another example of partisan politics, disregarded the opinion of the Cabinet & gave sanction to prosecute Purshottam Solanki.

Matter being probed, important to wait for verdict
·      This matter is currently being probed by the Anti Corruption Bureau as per the Court Orders. There has been no chargesheet/court finding against Purshottam Solanki till date.

·      The question arises that how can someone judge Purshottam Solanki even before the court finds any evidence against him or pronounces its verdict. It is important to respect the sanctity of our judicial systems & wait for the verdict before declaring anyone guilty to score political points.

·      The case has not even come for trial; no chargesheet has been filed and there are no adverse findings by any court whatsoever
Facts on the Babubhai Bokhiria Case

Stay on Conviction
·      The opposition & sections of the media are routinely peddling lies that Babubhai Bokhiria remains in the cabinet inspite of being convicted. Nothing can be farther from the truth than this assumption.

·      The fact of the matter in Babubhai Bokhiria’s case is that his conviction has been stayed by a superior court.

·      Both his conviction and his sentence stay suspended.
Rationale behind Stay
·      The District Judge after taking into account the trial order has passed a detailed speaking order.

·      The District Judge has said that he is aware that a conviction should not be stayed unless it is a rare case. After detailed study of the case, the District Court Judge has come to the conclusion that this conviction should be stayed as it is a rare case.
Supreme Court Judgment
·      The Supreme Court judgment which repealed section 8 (4) of the RP Act 1951 while allowing disqualification of convicted representatives, also observed that the same will not apply retrospectively.

·      So it would be unfair to question the wisdom of the Supreme Court & asking Babubhai Bokhiria to be removed from the Cabinet as legally his conviction has been stayed  at present.

Moral Argument
·      Argument may be made that keeping in mind morality and commitment towards eradicating corruption, Babubhai Bokhiria should be removed from the Cabinet.

·      Here it is important to remind that morality should be applicable on both sides.  What if a higher court strikes down his sentence and conviction entirely and proves him innocent?

·      Hence we should wait for the Court to decide the case before coming to conclusions.
Questions Kejriwal needs to answer

·      While Arvind Kejriwal in his self righteousness questions a person as honest as Shri Narendra Modi, he himself has been found running away from the same questions.

1.    It has been found that on direction of the Court, the Centre has sent notices to the AAP to reveal it’s source of funding. But the Kejriwal led AAP is yet to reply inspite of 2 notices.[5]

2.    Arvind Kejriwal should question Manish Sisodia who is accused of misusing the money meant for his NGO. [6]

3.    Arvind Kejriwal also needs to answer the nation as to why is the Ford Foundation aiding the AAP and what are the ulterior motives behind it. [7]

4.    He is also yet to answer the Courts on crossing the election spending. [8]

5.    While Arvind Kejriwal positions himself as the champion of honest politics, it is strange to find that Arvind Kejriwal is yet to answer 13 RTI applications asking him questions pertained to funds received by way of donations and membership, details of expenses, statements of the party’s bank accounts, internal elections, candidates selections process and the proof of corruption against politicians whom Kejriwal has called corrupt in the recent weeks. The petitioner also adds “While Arvind Kejriwal was in the chair, the chief minister’s performance on RTI was at its worst ever. I had asked for reasons for the transfers of the two transport commissioners. The CM’s office replied that the citizens have no right to ask why the transfer happen[9]

AAP Manifesto Report Card
Sr No.
The VIP culture should be stopped in Delhi. No MLA, minister or Delhi official will use red beacon on their cars. Neither they will live in big bungalows nor will take any special security.
Definitely no red-beacon is used. But big vehicle with VIP numbers were allotted to the ministers. Even Kejriwal himself asked for two 5-bed room bungalows. Thus on this front AAP government failed seriously because only tokenism was displayed.
Passing of the Jan Lokpal Bill, the same version for which Anna Hazare held fasts.
This in fact was opportunistically used by AAP in order to reap some benefit in Lok Sabha elections
People will take decision directly in 'mohalla sabhas', which will be held in every locality and colony.
Swaraj Bill’ even could not pass the cabinet. No opinion was taken for decisions during the tenure of government. This is a failure
AP demanded complete statehood for Delhi. Central government's hold on DDA and Police should end
No such bill came in the Assembly.
The party also demanded a special audit of all electricity companies in the national capital from the time these were privatised. The companies that refuse to participate, their licenses should be cancelled
Audit has been ordered. But because of resignation, how this can be followed up? -
Electricity meters should be checked.
This has not yet started.
There is 220 liters of water available for every person daily. Where is it?
In this tenure, Kejriwal never wanted to investigate this. No answer to Delhi Public till date
AAP wanted unauthorized colonies to be regularized. 30% of Delhi's population lives in such colonies and these should be regularized
This hasn’t been done yet nor any action initiated till date!

AAP wanted unauthorized colonies to be regularized. 30% of Delhi's population lives in such colonies and these should be regularized
This hasn’t been done yet nor any action initiated till date!
The party demanded to know if the Congress and the BJP will support its decision to give clean and affordable 'pakka houses' (built up houses) to those living in slums.
Both BJP and Congress agreed to it. But AAP government didn’t initiate any action
It also sought their support to give regular jobs to those working on contractual basis.
No Action initiated by AAP government despite their promise.
It wanted to give infrastructural facilities like roads, electricity, water and basic facilities to the ordinary trader
Not once these promises were discussed.
AAP said it is against FDI in retail.
A letter from Delhi government sent to the central government withdrawing earlier consent of allowing FDI in retail at Delhi
The party wanted to provide facilities and subsidies to farmers in the villages in the national capital.
No attempt is made in this tenure.
The party also demanded to know the Congress and BJP's stand on opening 500 government schools, stopping donations in private schools and making the fee system transparent.
Nothing has been done by AAP government.
The party said it wanted to open new government hospitals with better facilities.
Nothing is done.
It also wanted to have special security units for women and wants all harassment cases to be tackled within three months.
Some initial discussion started but nothing concrete done by the government.
It wanted to set up enough courts and appoint judges so that all cases are dealt within six months.
Not done and neither initiated any action.
The AAP wanted to know whether the municipal corporations of Delhi will support them on these issues.
No such situation has aroused during the tenure where MCD’s support is required.
Providing electricity at 50% reduced tariff: The original promise was to make the audit of discoms, check their irregularities so that Delhi public could the reduction of 50% in their tariff.
Audit ordered and in the mean time 50% subsidy upto 400 units was announced. This subsidy included prevailing subsidy. This is applicable to only metered house. This can only be seen as a populist measure benefiting affording class only at the cost of Public money.
Providing free water up to 700 litre per day per house hold
20kl water is made free for each household those have meters. Those who don't have meters (particularly poor people) wouldn’t be benefited. Further the main issue of providing water to everyone was not addressed. Thus in coming summers, the people who were suffering since years and became victim of tanker mafia are sure to suffer, because AAP is now interested in national ambition.
Shelters to homeless: After assuming office, Kejriwal had announced that his government would set up porta cabins for the homeless.
But the government set up makeshift homes of plastic sheets. According to reports, at least 178 people lost their lives due to Cold in the past one month.
Delhi High Court also pulled up the AAP government over deaths due to cold at night shelters in the national capital.

Ending 49 days of AAP rule in Delhi
Manifesto Agenda