Conclave of BJP CMs accuse Centre of `step-motherly` treatment

With five BJP-ruled states set to go for Assembly polls in a few months, the party held a conclave of its Chief Ministers on Saturday to discuss the economic growth in their states.

New Delhi: With five BJP-ruled states set to go for Assembly polls in a few months, the party held a conclave of its Chief Ministers on Saturday to discuss the economic growth in their states and accused the Centre of giving them "step-motherly" treatment in fund disbursement.

Party sources said the main theme of the one-day meet of BJP Chief Ministers, Deputy CMs and Leaders of the Opposition here was to discuss the "policy paralysis" in the Congress-led UPA government.

They also dwelt on how the Centre`s alleged "discriminatory" attitude towards opposition-ruled states in distribution of funds and implementation of schemes was affecting them.

All Chief Ministers, including Narendra Modi (Gujarat), Prem Kumar Dhumal (Himachal Pradesh), Raman Singh (Chhattisgarh), Shivraj Singh Chouhan (Madhya Pradesh) and Jagadish Shettar (Karnataka), who are set to face elections within a year, accused the Centre of neglecting their demands.

Bihar Deputy Chief Minister Sushil Kumar Modi and Punjab`s senior-most BJP Minister Chunni Lal also attended the conclave, along with Goa CM Manohar Parrikar. Jharkhand was represented by a senior minister Vimla Pradhan.

In his speech at the conclave, the Gujarat CM attacked Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the problems in sanction of Central funds to his state. He alleged RBI has increased interest rates 13 times, which has affected investment.

He further argued central Ministers try to take credit for the allocated funds which the states are rightfully entitled to. UPA is showing overall disrespect to the clear boundaries between the states and Centre`s functions outlined in the Constitution, he charged.

What a state gets is mandated by the Finance Commission and the Planning Commission, Modi added.

In his presentation, Raman Singh charged that the Centre
has failed to control growing budget deficit, check inflation and devaluation of the Rupee, improve the investment climate, remove obstacles in economic reforms and bring about fiscal transparency.

He also alleged the Centre has caused delay in decision- making and failed to coordinate with states.

Jharkhand suggested the central government should take steps to design schemes keeping the local factors in mind and also remove unnecessary duplication of schemes.

It also said the Centre should only focus on major national projects that involve inter-state coordination and transfer rest of the central funds to the states so that they can run schemes according to their priorities.

Jharkhand has alleged the Centre discriminates against it in implementation of power projects, foodgrain supplies, implementation of Jawahar Lal Nehru Urban Renewable Mission and expenditure on deployment of paramilitary forces.

BJP President Nitin Gadkari accused the Centre of "governance deficit" and "policy paralysis".

He claimed the NDA-ruled states were performing better than other states and that the current growth rate of the country was due to the high growth rate of over 10 per cent achieved by them.

BJP highlighted the success of PDS in Chhattisgarh, the Ladli Lakshmi Yojana for the girl child in Madhya Pradesh, solar energy projects in Gujarat, concept of OBC budget in Karnataka, efforts being made to bring about economic discipline and transparency in mining in Goa and a "new record" in environment conservation in Himachal Pradesh.

Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj spoke on governance and fiscal prudence while her Rajya Sabha counterpart Arun Jaitley initiated a discussion on federalism. Senior leader L K Advani gave the valedictory address.

Gadkari said "the economic situation in the country was serious. GDP was falling and governance deficit and policy paralysis were continuously growing and ecnomic reforms and policy decisions being avoided".

He said "when NDA left office, the debt-to-GDP rate was 17.8 per cent, today it is 68.05 per cent. This has made India the worst among BRIC countries," Gadkari said.

"The present 6 per cent GDP growth rate is maintained because of the growth in BJP-ruled states. All our states have GDP growth of over 10 per cent," BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar said.

Gadkari said NDA has now become National Development Alliance as three of the BJP -ruled states of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Jharkhand were among six top states where GDP growth was the highest in the country.

The BJP chief also hit out at UPA accusing it of being "without leadership, vision, a sense of direction and commitment".

He alleged the nation was "suffering due to governance deficit and policy paralysis" and added that states were unable to do anything without help from the Centre.

"This government lacks political will to take decisions," he said, adding "the UPA government at the Centre is acting as a speed-breaker for growth in the country".
He said infrastructure and development were "suffering" due to UPA`s policies and charged Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with "living on debt".