NDA CMs accuse Centre of hampering dev work in their states

"If you are ruling at the Centre and your party is not in power in state, it does not mean you will try to obstruct the functioning of the state government," Bihar Chief Minister and JD-U leader Nitish Kumar said addressing a function here.

He said "the coalition at the Centre should not disturb the coalition of the states and should not nurture the greed to finish the other coalition to form a government of its own."
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan from BJP alleged that a number of development schemes in his state are pending due to obstructions put by the Centre.

"We were going ahead with the construction of Maheshwar dam. All of a sudden a letter came from Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh asking for halting the work. I have been making rounds of Delhi Durbar since then but to no avail.

"There are so many obstructions. The thinking that a government which is not of our own party should not be helped because it can again come to power if it gives results is wrong. This impedes development," Chauhan said while speaking on the topic 'Coalition Government and Rapid Growth'.

The Bihar Chief Minister alleged that central ministers were also levelling "unnecessary" allegations against such state governments just to suit the interests of their party.

"Some people say no work is taking place in Bihar. Ministers say investment did not come... There are thousands of proposals for opening power plants in Bihar but where is the coal linkage.

"In the 11th five year plan, there was not a single coal linkage for Bihar. Now we are pinning our hopes on the 12th plan. We have a number of proposals for Ethanol but there is no permission from the Centre," Kumar said.

Kumar also rued that the Centre provided little assistance for Kosi flood victims even when the Prime Minister had declared it a national calamity. On the issue of coalition government, Kumar said coalitions work better if there is consensus on policies, adding he himself had no problem in running a coalition government in Bihar.

Maintaining that "single party rule leads to dictatorship", Deputy Chief Minister of Punjab Sukhbir Singh Badal said that his party Akali Dal's experience in running a coalition government with BJP has been encouraging.

Taking a dig at the Centre over the recent phone tapping controversy, Kumar recalled how the government led by late Prime Minister Chandrashekhar had to go because two constables of Haryana police were found moving outside the residence of former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi.

"....but now a lot of things are being seen. You can hear anyone's phone call. Then the Home Minister says it was not authorised. This makes it all the more serious and even if it is not authorised anyone's phone can be tapped," Kumar said.

Kumar also alluded to the recent flip flop of RJD chief Lalu Prasad and SP chief Mulayam Singh Yadav on the issue of cut motion in which they bailed out the government by staging a walk out from Lok Sabha and choosing not to vote for the motion.

The Bihar Chief Minister, however, disapproved of post-poll alliances. "The agreements in post-poll alliances are opportunistic. See what kind of coalition is running here. How people are forced into submission. Those opposing the government strongly all of a sudden go silent," he said.

On the issue of Maoist menace, Chauhan said that Naxalism is not only a law and order problem and needs to be looked in a broader perspective. "As long as exploitation does not end and common man do not get justice, the anger towards the system will continue to foster," he said.

Chauhan, however, rejected the contention that his views are against the party line. "My stand is not different from the party. Nobody supports violence. Those who engage in violence should be dealt with sternly... but there is a feeling among tribals, who live in jungles that they have not got justice," he said.

Chauhan said as long as the light of development does not reach to common men, talks of growth rate are irrelevant. He also touched upon socio-economic development of Adivasis and problem of displacement in wake of industrialisation. Both Kumar and Chauhan welcomed the introduction of the Right to Education Act but said the Centre should meet the financial burden for it.

Chauhan also favoured simultaneous elections for both Lok Sabha and state assemblies to ensure uninterrupted development, an idea which was supported by Kumar as well.

He also demanded fixing the tenure of Lok Sabha and Assembly for five years and state funding of elections.

Praising Nitish Kumar for creating employment opportunities in Bihar, Badal said that Kumar's good work has led to labour shortage in agriculture sector in Punjab forcing the state government to take to mechanised farming.

"Every party has a target market. If you have coalition government, the target market becomes bigger. But pre-election coalitions are more stronger than post election coalitions. Post election alliances are marked by clashes...," he said favouring coalition governments to one party rule.

Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the era of coalition politics will gradually move towards two-party or three-party rule, adding there is truth in the common perception that alliance governments are not stable.

He at the same time maintained that UPA has been able to give an "extraordinary coalition government". Hooda said if there is a Common Minimum Programme and absence of individual clashes, coalition governments can also bring out rapid growths.

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