Since 2014, opposition parties have expressed their concern over the perceived lack of impartiality in the decision-making of the government. They have voiced their grievances about the apparent disparity in the distribution of resources across states governed by different political parties, with the BJP being at the helm. But if we look at the facts with non-prejudiced lenses, we will find a different story altogether.
Recent update from Rajasthan is making Rajasthan’s Congress government restless. Following the complaint of Biharilal Vishnoi, BJP MLA from Bikaner’s Nokha, the centre conducted a survey in the state of Rajasthan. The survey yielded some unexpected loopholes in Rajasthan government.
The Central Government’s investigation has revealed that, due to the inadequate planning and poor management of the electricity department by the Gehlot government the budget of Rs 1,022 crore allocated to provide electricity connections to more than 2.5 lakh houses in the state has unfortunately gone to waste.
On July 26, 2021, the Modi government at the Centre allocated Rs 1,022 crore to the Gehlot government in Rajasthan under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana Saubhagya. But the Rajasthan Electricity Department failed to use this budget within the stipulated time period, and thus failed to provide electricity connections to the households in the villages.
This is also a mistake of BJP : Congress
The unfortunate situation in Rajasthan is the result of the gross negligence of the Congress government led by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Despite this, the Congress Party continues to be involved in blame-game. It keeps unnecessarily targeting Bharatiya Janata Party led central government for not providing enough support to them in the state.
The central government had allocated a budget of 1,022 crores to the Rajasthan government under a specific scheme. Out of this, 433 crores each had been allocated to the Jodhpur and Ajmer Discom companies. The remaining amount of 156 crore was allocated to the Jaipur Discom. The fund was meant to provide electricity connections to underserved households in the Dhanis region. But results are in front of us as no positive updates or development seems to be taking place.
Dr. BD Kalla, who was the then Energy Minister for five months, failed to take any action on this matter. When Bhanwar Singh Bhati was appointed as the new Minister of the Electricity Department in December 2021, the tender process was already underway. Upon learning of this, in January 2022, Bhati requested an extension of the deadline from the Central Government. The timeline was extended until March. But no progress was observed and the budget lapsed in the end.
Playing the Congress way
Upon being inquired about it, Bhanwar Singh Bhati tried his best to manipulate the issue. He tried his best to bring central government to his fold by playing the old tactics of congress government.
He stated that, under the Saubhagya scheme, the central government had planned to electrify Dhani village, with the state government contributing 40% of the costs. Initially, the Central government granted an exemption until December 2021 for the tender process. Following a demand from the state government, the Central government extended the time until February 15, and then until March 2022. But the Central government refused to extend the scheme any further.
He further added that he had requested the central government for an extension of at least one year. However, the request was declined and the deadline of March 31 passed without any relief. As a result, hundreds of thousands of villages were not able to access electricity.
The irony is of the issue is that, after wasting months, the Gehlot government has not made any significant progress and his ministers drunk with power seems unbothered and playing the old tactics of blame game. Now, with the state elections unfolding in 2023, the same rhetoric will be recycled, with the congress blaming the central government for not providing enough time for them to accomplish more.
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