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UPA discriminating against NDA-ruled states: BJP
Onkar Singh in New Delhi | March 29, 2008 20:41 IST
Senior leader of the Bhartiya Janata Party Sushma Swaraj on Saturday alleged that the United Progressive Alliance government was discriminating against the National Democratic Alliance ruled states. She claimed that this discrimination extended to railway projects, distribution of wheat and rice through the public distribution system, relief packages for natural calamities like draught and floods etc.
Swaraj was addressing a press conference to give details about the meeting of chief ministers from the BJP and NDA ruled states. Representatives of other NDA allies also participated in the meeting, which was held at the residence of BJP's prime ministerial candidate L K Advani.
However, Swaraj refused to comment about the controversial Kandahar hijacking issue. Former defence minister George Fernandes [Images] has claimed that Advani did know about the visit of External Affairs Minister Jaswant Singh to drop the terrorists at Kandahar airport. Advani, in a TV programme, had denied that he was aware of any such decision. He had added that Jaswant Singh might have taken the requisite permission from then prime miniter Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
"I am here to give you details of the meeting called by Advaniji," Swaraj said when the issue was raised by some journalists.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje Scindia and Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar could not attend the meeting due to ill health. "Scindia had a sore throat while Nitishji is undergoing treatment. Bihar's deputy chief minister Sushil Kumar Modi attended the meeting," she said.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi [Images], Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan, Chattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal and Orissa Chief Minister Navin Patnaik attended the meeting.
Swaraj alleged that there was a drastic cut in the ration quota of the NDA ruled states, for distribution of wheat and rice at subsidised rates, though the number of people living below the poverty line was substantial in these states.
She praised the BJP ruled states for raising the percentage of women office bearers from 33 per cent to 50 per cent. She alleged that the Centre had not allocated funds to start six super specialty hospitals in these states.
All the participants voiced their concern about inadequate power supply, which resulted in massive power cuts in their respective states.
However, Swaraj did not mention any problems being faced by Punjab and Orissa, the two states ruled by NDA allies.