Panaji: Speaking about the Centre’s Smart City projects, Congress parliamentarian Shantaram Naik accused the central government of discriminating against villages, vis-a-vis the cities.
The Rajya Sabha MP said that while crores of rupees were being apportioned to ‘smart’ cities, the Sansad Adarsh Gram Yojana (SAGY), had not been allocated a single paisa.
“The government has not motivated state government officials for the purpose of making Adarsh Gram Yojana a success and, on the contrary, Smart City projects are given favoured treatment to please private investors, specially, the foreign investors,” Naik said in a statement issued here.
Under the SAGY, launched last year, every MP can adopt one village in his/her constituency and develop it as a model village.
By Smart Cities, Naik referred to the 99 cities, named by the central government last month, as ‘smart’ urban habitats for future.
“The logic of the government of India in providing crores of rupees budget for ‘smart’ cities, but not a paisa for the SAGY is questionable,” Naik said, adding that the fate of the SAGY hangs in balance, as state government officials are clueless regarding the availability of funds.
“Earlier, the plan of the government was to develop new areas as smart cities, but the government must have realized that such cities can never be visualized in a poor country like India. The government is now resorting to the policy of developing existing cities,” he said.
In Goa, Panaji has been identified as one of the 99 smart cities, a list of which was made public by the central government on August 27.
Sometimes I feel too confused that what makes a leader speak so badly about the country. Still more confusing is that the same leader is projected as the only fittest in the country to be the Prime Minister.
This time from foreign soil, Germany, Rahul Gandhi has spoken out his mind. With gay abandon he claimed the lack of employment is the cause behind the rise of ISIS. If we analyze such statement objectively, we see that the unprecedented danger is looming large around this country not because of the citizens but because of the irresponsible leaders.
Is it not too shocking that we tolerate a bunch of leaders all through who, with impunity, tramples upon prudence and embrace the fickleness by speaking with such rashness? The ridiculous ranting is what Rahul Gandhi is good at. How many immature gaffes he has committed in last one year. One finds it too sickening to see people defending what Rahul utters out? Again, to his party’s sycophants, each word spoken out by him is worth its weight in gold.
Could any conscious people come across the board to evaluate what will be the likely repercussion when the projected leader goes to the extent to connect the unemployment of youth with ISIS? What do you say — if a certain father harps on that his children will be dagger-wielding murderers if they will not get jobs? What message does it send out? Will such ideas not “viciously affect” the thought process of the children in future? One wonders how the constitution allows the leaders to speak out such dangerous language. Will it not encourage the treasonous activities within the country leading to the decline of the security and sovereignty of the nation?
Despite the height of stupidity, Rahul Gandhi is capable to earn more admirers then criticizers. Is it a pointer to the fact that one man’s loss of sense should lead to the “loss of sense” of other intellectuals? Or do we love an “individual” from a particular family more than our own “country”? On what ground is an “individual” more respect-worthy than the “party”, country and its constitutional ethos? This is in fact a very ominous trend which this country is witnessing now.
True, our Indian polity needs a strong opposition. People do not disagree at all that Congress should not be the one. Yes, this party can alone match well with the rival BJP. But sadly, the party is failing when Rahul started to become more vocal. The party with so smaller number of MPs has not yet “acknowledged” that its rapid decline now is because it continues to sing a hymn to one family only. The conscious Congress party leaders should come down to the ground and critically assess the people’s opinions and their concerns. They all have been intensely disillusioned by the dynasty politics.
Has this “family” not pleasantly ignored a very learned and seasoned leader Pranab Mukherjee by reducing him to just a rubber stamp? Are Sachin Pilot, Ghulam Nabi Azad, C. P. Joshi, Ashok Gehlot, Jyotiraditya, Scindia, Priya Dutt, less Indian? If BJP can groom Kiren Rijiju why can’t Congress groom the astute leader of the northeast like Gaurav Gogoi or Vincent Pala or Mukul Sangma ? No exaggeration, Sachin Pilot could diplomatically handle the political situation and articulate the party policies far more maturely than entire Gandhi family members put together.
Enough is enough. People now anxiously await the REVIVAL of political parties with vibrant faces who genuinely love the country. We have seen enough of the anti-nation activities incited by the Gandhi family. It’s totally wrong to be the puppets of a wrong family and spell doom for the nation. PM Modi rightly says that service to the country is far more important than the service to the family.
Salil Gewali is a well-known writer and author of ‘Great minds on India’. Twitter: @SGewali.