It is a matter of shame for the Congress that its own state governments have bothered little to implement the UPA government’s flagship 20-point programme even as the BJP-led states and other opposition parties draw praise for “very good” performance, in an official report card.
At the AICC session at Burari here in December 2010 , Sonia Gandhi had specifically linked the party fortunes to the success of the government programmes. She will be disappointed by the government report which shows how the BJP-ruled states took advantage and gained popularity by using the central funds for these programmes, while the Congress-ruled states faltered.
No surprise then that Nagpur MP Vilas Muttemwar, who was designated general secretary to monitor the government’s flagship programmes 20 months ago, hardly received any feedback, despite firing circulars, as the Congress governments had not much to show.Indira Gandhi’s original 20-point programme was tweaked by the UPA government in 2006 to give a push to social welfare, covering grassroots empowerment, food security, drinking water, social security and eradication of poverty. It was meant to bring about a social change, but alas! The Congress-ruled states missed the bus.
Himachal Pradesh, where the BJP lost to the Congress in the assembly elections last month, has clocked “very good” with above 95% progress in all 17 parameters based on which, the performances of the states were judged.
The central government’s review shows states like the BJP-ruled Himachal Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Bihar and Uttarakhand, as also the BJD-ruled Orissa and then Left-ruled West Bengal showed remarkable progress in devolving powers to the panchayat raj institutions to ensure grass roots empowerment. In contrast, there was minimal devolution of powers of the government functionaries to the panchayats in the Congress-ruled states like Haryana and Rajasthan, or in the National Conference-Congress-ruled Jammu and Kashmir. In Uttar Pradesh and Manipur, the panchayats have absolutely no control, as yet, over the functionaries who handle the subjects listed in the 20-point programme.
Last week, at the National Development Council (NDC) meeting, Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi sarcastically remarked that the Centre was not coming out with the bi-annual performance reports on the 20-point programme to hide the failure of the states ruled by the Congress or its allies.
The review report has high praise for the BJP-led Chhattisgarh government, for its success in recruitment of new ‘shiksha karmis’ at the grass roots-level panchayats. More than 30,000 teachers have been recruited in the state so far. Gujarat has also devolved 2.2 lakh employees to village panchayats, mainly on deputation.
The Congress-ruled Kerala has, however, something to show that it has not fared that bad as it transferred staff of 14 concerned departments to the panchayats, giving the latter disciplinary control over them, while the Congress-ruled Haryana devolved staff of just three departments through deemed deputation.
On the food security front, the BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh tops the list by drawing maximum food grains allocated for the targeted public distribution system (TPDS). Its offtake was 104%, followed by the Congress-ruled Delhi at 102%. The Congress-ruled Andhra Pradesh and Nagaland are at par with Himachal in 100% offtake of foodgrains under another Antyodaya Anna Yojana (AAY).
In the Indira Awas Yojana (IAY) which provides affordable housing to the rural poor, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Tamil Nadu are on top. As for providing houses to the urban poor, Uttarakhand ruled by the BJP until last year clocked 401% of the target, followed by Uttar Pradesh (306%) and Maharashtra (216%).Under the integrated child development service scheme, a major component of UN’s millennium development goal (MDG), most of the states’ achieved the 100% target. However, Delhi performed the worst, having achieved only 58% of the target. West Bengal (72%) and Haryana (95%) were the two other two states which were unable to achieve 100% target.
Maharashtra may lag behind in all other parameters but, in the construction of rural roads under the prime minister’s Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), the state is 288% successful, followed by Arunachal Pradesh (206%) and Madhya Pradesh (204%).
In rural electrification under Rajiv Gandhi Vidyutikaran Yojana (RGGVY), the BJP-ruled Chattisgarh (188%), Himachal Pradesh (130%) and Madhya Pradesh (125%), have fared better than other states. The worst are Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand achieving zero per cent progress in the past two years.
Madhya Pradesh, with 378% progress, tops the list in achieving the energising of pump sets, followed by Uttarakhand (278%).