National

Congress hits out at Modi on "burqa of secularism" remark, development claims

NetIndian News Network

New Delhi, July 15, 2013

What did Modi do for sports as Gujarat CM, asks Maken
The Congress today hit out at Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi for his "burqa of secularism" remark against it at a public rally in Pune yesterday and also sought to pick holes in his claims about development in Gujarat, saying that the state had lagged behind other states on several indicators.
Mr Modi, who has recently been elevated as the chairman of the campaign committee of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, had accused the Congress of hiding behind the "burqa" of secularism whenever it is faced with problems.
"Whenever the Congress is in trouble for any reason, whether it is corruption, price rise or any other issue, it wears the burqa of secularism and hides in the bunkers and then says that poverty, corruption and hunger do not matter because secularism is in danger," he had said.
"The burqa of secularism is much better than naked communalism. While communalism divides, securalism binds," Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken, who is in charge of the party's communication cell, said.
He also alleged that Mr Modi, who is projected in various quarters as the likely Prime Ministerial candidate of the BJP in the next general elections, had not been able to serve his own people well and failed in his own state.
He said that Mr Modi had, at yesterday's rally, raised issues of education and sports and compared India's achievements with China, "which is under an authoritarian regime".
"As a democratic country, we have progressed a lot in the last decade under (Congress President) Ms Sonia Gandhi and (Prime Minister) Dr Manmohan Singh," he said.
Referring to Mr Modi's remarks about India's poor performance in international sports, Mr Maken, a former Sports Minister, said that, while the country had a long way to go, it had put up its best ever performance in the 2012 London Olympics.
He said 83 Indian sportspersons had qualified and had won six medals, double the highest ever.
He said that, BJP-ruled Gujarat, despite being historically good in sports, had won none of the 444 gold medals and only 7 of the total 1479 medals in the Jharkhand National Games. "Even Chandigarh won 10 medals and Gujarat could win only 7," he said. He said a small state like Haryana had contributed 4 out of the 6 medals won by India in the last Olympics.
On education, he said what when the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) came to power in 2004, the spending on general education for FY 2003-04 was Rs 6800 crore.
"This FY-2013-14 it is Rs 52,875 crore. In technical education, it increased from Rs 641 crore to Rs 6518.2 crore," he said.
He said that while Mr Modi had wrongly stated that China spent about 20% of its GDP on education, he had not pointed out that during the BJP-led NDA's regime, the government had spent only 1.67% of the GDP on education.
During the UPA's regime, the government had spent 4.02% of GDP on education in the 11th Plan period.
He said Gujarat had, in 2011-12, allocated 13.9% of its budget for education and ranked 14th in the country.
Mr Maken siad the number of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) had gone up from 7 to 16, Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) from 6 to 13 and Central Universities from 17 to 44 under UPA rule.
Quoting data compiled by the Gujarat Congress, Mr Maken said that only 4 of the 16 government degree engineering colleges and 4 of the 26 government diploma engineering colleges have regular principals.
He said that more than 67 per cent of the senior faculty positions in these colleges were vacant for the last 10 years. He went on to talk about hundreds of about posts in schools lying vacant in the state.
Mr Maken said gross enrolment ratio in the country had increased from 62.5 per cent to 85.5 per cent.
He said that in Gujarat, in 2010-11, the overall dropout rate for Class I-X was 57.9 per cent as against the national average of 49.3 per cent. He said that for Scheduled Castes (SCs) it was 64.5% as against the national average of 56% and for Scheduled Tribes (STs) it was 77.6% against the national average of 70.9%.
He said Gujarat’s net enrolment ratio was one of the worst in India.
"While at the lower primary level (classes one to five) is a poor 85.73 per cent, it plummets further to 48.77 per cent at the upper primary level, as against the national average of 61.82 per cent. Even states such as
Bihar with 52.70 per cent enrolment are better performers at the upper primary level.
"While Gujarat may be having proportionately more midday meal sheds than other states, the number of schools serving midday meal is much lower than the all-India average. It is 89.94 per cent in Gujarat as against the all-India average of 92.06 per cent. The states which are worse performers here are Punjab (87.49 per cent) and West Bengal (86.82 per cent). In higher education, Gross Enrolment Ratio increased from 12 to 18%. Adult Literacy rates also have increased tremendously from 64.8% to 74%," he said.
He said that Gujarat ranked 9th in the country on male literacy rates, 14th in the country in female literacy rates and 18th in the country on gender gap in literacy and below the national average.
"Mr Modi gave a ‘gyan’ on tourism also. But where is Gujarat in tourism. In the 2011 Report, Domestic Tourism, Gujarat comes 10th with just 2.5% of national share. In international tourism, I do not have the data, because Gujarat does not figure in first ten even!" he added.
NNN

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