Congress leader debunks BJP leaders’ claim
BANGALORE: The Bharatiya Janata Party’s talk of replicating the Gujarat model of development in Karnataka has drawn flak from the Congress with the party general secretary B.K. Hariprasad terming such a model as a “myth”.
Mr. Hariprasad, who monitored the Congress campaign in the Gujarat polls, urged the BJP leaders to say whether such a model of development meant that the BJP wanted to put Karnataka farmers behind bars for defaulting on power bills for irrigation pump sets as done in Gujarat.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Hariprasad alleged that more than one lakh farmers had been imprisoned in Gujarat for defaulting on power bills. Alleging that not many public sector enterprises were thriving in Gujarat, he wanted the BJP leaders to specify if they wanted to close down the PSUs in Karnataka also to replicate the Gujarat model.
He said contrary to the BJP leaders’ claims of Gujarat being a highly developed State, the ground realities were different. If education was any parameter for development, Gujarat had only 9,000 engineering seats as against 56,000 in Karnataka, he noted.
Mr. Hariprasad also took exception to the BJP looking at Gujarat as a model for the Karnataka power sector in its poll manifesto. He alleged that the Narendra Modi Government in Gujarat had failed to add more than 500 MW of power to the grid in the last five years. Contrary to its claims of quality power supply, most of the villages in Gujarat were not getting more than six hours of power a day. “This being the case, how can Gujarat be a model for Karnataka?,” he wondered.