Irony continues to rediscover itself in Gujarat.
Just when a Gujarat BJP Executive Committee meeting, underway in the lap of Sardar Patel’s statue in Kevadia, heaped praise on the State Government for effective governance, its own MLA wrote to Chief Minister Vijay Rupani that the State schemes were not reaching the poorest of the poor.
Legislator Ketan Inamdar from Savli in Vadodara district, adjacent to Kevadia, has written a letter to the Chief Minister stating that “genuinely poor” people are being deprived of government schemes and sought a revision in the list of Below Poverty Line (BPL) category beneficiares.
His letter was dated September 1, 2021, and the three-day State Executive Committee meeting started the next day to conclude on Saturday, September 4.
Inamdar has questioned the government’s claims of its welfare schemes reaching the last man. He writes, “Majority of those included in the government’s list of beneficiaries released after a BPL score survey do not need BPL benefits. As a result, many actual needy persons have been left out of this survey.”
The legislator, who had earlier kicked up a ruckus by resigning with complaints that no development work was moving in his constituency, cited instances of many who got allotments of housing scheme units under the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, despite having “better standards of living”.
He asserted in his letter that many BPL category beneficiaries were not “really needy persons” and stressed on the need to revise their list to include the “poorest of poor” to realise the “vision” of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
He said the beneficiaries had been picked from the old list of BPL families. “As I understand, only those from the old BPL list, who do not have homes or who live in temporary homes should be included in the PMAY list on priority. But the fact is that those who feature on the BPL list made in the past have different standards of living now.”
Inamdar had won from Savli as an Independent candidate the first time in 2012 after being denied a BJP ticket and later was inducted in the party. He won again in 2017 on the BJP ticket.
In his letter, the lawmaker has also referred to the State Government’s decision on the merger of hundreds of schools and expressed fears that the move will “increase the dropout rate” as children from villages would not travel long distances to reach the nearest school.
Inamdar said while Covid-19 crisis has already had its effect on dropout rates and the merger of schools would make things worse.
It may be recalled that the state education department has merged upper primary classes of nearly 1,470 government primary schools with less than 20 students and is trying to accommodate 1,800 teachers thrown jobless.