Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Sunday took a veiled swipe at the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) and its leader Arvind Kejriwal by stating there are people who jump into the fray five months ahead of elections with a slew of promises unlike those who work hard for five years for the public before seeking their votes.
At a function to inaugurate four ‘smart schools’ in Ahmedabad city, Shah praised the Gujarat model of primary public education and said if any state has to learn about a model regarding education, it should come to Gujarat. He also blamed the Congress governments of Gujarat of the past for leaving primary education in the state in a poor condition. After becoming chief minister, Narendra Modi took initiatives like ‘Kanya Kelavani” and ‘Gunotsav’ to raise the enrolment ratio to 100 percent and also brought the dropout ratio to almost zero, Shah said.
”Elections are near. There are two types of people. There are people who contest elections through a political party by sweating and doing public service for five years. Then there are those who put on new robes five months before the election and come to the public with a gift of promises,” Shah said. However, the people of Gujarat can understand such a situation very well, Shah added. The AAP led by national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has been trying to emerge as the main contender against the ruling BJP in the state by promising what the party claims are ”guarantees” once it comes to power.
Shah said the setting up of these four ‘anupam shart shalas’ (matchless smart schools) by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation is the beginning of a new chapter in primary school education, adding that 22 such facilities will be set up by the civic body.
During the Congress rule, school dropout ratio was 37 per cent, and only 67 children out of 100 took admission in schools, Shah said.
”Narendrabhai started new initiatives. In the name of ‘Kanya Kelavani,’ he organised a praveshotsav (enrolment drive). Children were brought from households and the enrolment rate rose to 100 per cent for the first time in the whole country. The dropout ratio that the Congress left at 37 per cent was brought down to zero by Narendrabhai,” Shah said.
Modi also started initiatives like ‘Gunotsav’ (to improve learning levels of students at the elementary level) and focussed on teachers training, he added.
”If any state has to study a model regarding education, I can say without hesitation that it should come to Gujarat. Whether it is village, municipality, city, the kids of poor or rich, the BJP government under the leadership of Narendra Modi has made all arrangements to improve the level of their primary education,” Shah said.
He said the Congress would once again bring up caste talks and make new promises in the run up to the polls, to be held later this year.
The law and order in the state had deteriorated under previous Congress governments but stringent efforts by Narendra Modi as CM has ensured that communal riots and curfews are a thing of the past, Shah asserted.
”The development journey that has continued in the last 20 years will run for another five years. Bhupendrabhai (Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel) has executed all the projects beautifully and in time and funds given by the Central government,” he said.
While the electricity situation under the Congress dispensations was erratic and people in villages had to request their elected representatives for supply during dinner time, Modi had ensured the state now has electricity all 24 hours of the day, Shah said.