Defending his party's prime ministerial candidate’s governance in Gujarat despite an adverse CAG report on malnutrition, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi on Saturday accused the Congress Party of turning a blind eye to development in Modi’s Gujarat.
“The Congress, which has taken a resolve to cure its malnutrition with corruption, is noticing malnutrition throughout the world. The problem with the Congress Party is that they are completely blind towards the good work done in Gujarat,” Naqvi said.
“On every front, Gujarat has developed. Many reports come out, whatever the conclusions of this one is, specifically, will be looked into. However, the ground reality is that Gujarat is working with strength, and the people there are witness to it and understand it. We cannot guarantee, though, that the Congress Party understands this,” he added.
Earlier, specifically commenting on the recent CAG report that said every third child in Gujarat is underweight, Uttar Pradesh Congress President Rita Bahuguna elaborated on the Human Development Index of the state, and said it proves that there is no development in the state.
"We're not just saying this today, but it is something that we have maintained throughout. The Gujarat development model, which is being publicized, is one that is fake and everything is proving just that. The Human Development Index in Gujarat is not good. Whether it is the state of women or children or of Dalits. Additionally, malnutrition rates are amongst the highest in the country," Bahuguna said.
"The state of infrastructural development is also not very good. Only, a few large-scale corporates are benefiting. That doesn't prove any development. I am very happy that the facts of Gujarat are coming before the people," she added.
On Friday, the CAG released its report of the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS) in Gujarat, which is aimed at fighting malnutrition among children, and concluded that every third child in the state is underweight.
"Though there were 223.16 lakh eligible beneficiaries under Supplementary Nutrition (SN) programme under the Integrated Child Development Scheme (ICDS), 63.37 lakh beneficiaries were left out," the CAG said in its report, which was tabled in the state Assembly on October 4.
"As against the target of 300 nutrition days annually, shortfall in providing SN was up to 96 days. Every third child in the state was reported as underweight. Shortfall of 27 per cent to 48 per cent was noticed in the implementation of nutrition programme for adolescent girls," the report added.
The CAG report also concluded that the Gujarat population of 1.87 crore was deprived of the benefits of ICDS.
In November, 2008, the Centre had directed the Gujarat government to submit a proposal for additional projects based on the revised population criteria, however, the state failed to do so.
ICDS was launched in 1975 by the Central Government to endorse the all-round development of children, -upto the age of six-expectant and lactating mothers and adolescent girls through package services comprising of nutrition, immunisation, health check-ups, health education and informal education of young children.
ICDS, which was funded entirely by the Centre till 2009, is now sponsored 10 percent by the state and 90 percent by the Centre.