Lok Sabha polls 2024 | What happened to 'grand promises' on army recruitment in Morena: Congress jabs BJP

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Morena, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posed a set of questions to him.
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 08:05 IST
Last Updated : 25 April 2024, 08:05 IST

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New Delhi: Attacking the BJP over its promises on army recruitment in Morena, the Congress on Thursday alleged that through the Agnipath scheme, the Modi government has 'damaged the integrity' of the armed forces and the futures of thousands of youth of Madhya Pradesh's Bhind-Morena.

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's rally in Morena, Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh posed a set of questions to him.

"What happened to the BJP's grand promises on army recruitment in Morena? Why do MP's villages still lack basic water and sanitation facilities? Why has Morena become India's electricity theft capital?" Ramesh said in a post on X.

Elaborating on what he said were 'jumla details', he said when the then-Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited Morena in 2018, she promised that a Sainik School would be set up there within a year or two.

"She told stories of how whenever she visits border outposts across the country, she would find the maximum number of soldiers from Bhind-Morena stationed there. She said that the Sainik School would enable educated youth from Morena to become officers in the army and serve their country," Ramesh said.

At the same event, the then-Minister of Rural Development, Narendra Singh Tomar, had said that he would organise a local recruitment office for the army in the Bhind-Morena region, Ramesh said.

"Six years later, neither of these ideas have materialised. Instead, through Agnipath, the Modi Sarkar has damaged the integrity of the armed forces and the futures of thousands of Bhind-Morena's aspirational youth," the Congress leader said.

"What happened to Nirmala Sitharaman's promises? Why has the Modi Sarkar betrayed the youth of MP so cruelly?" Ramesh asked.

The Congress leader claimed that the Modi government's flagship Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) has performed poorly in parts of rural Madhya Pradesh, especially in tribal hamlets.

"According to a 2020 report, 4.5 lakh toilets were found missing, and 540 crores from the budget had been siphoned off by government officials. While the Department of Water and Sanitation claims that 99.6% of households that had access to toilets also had access to running water, the ground reality paints a very different picture," he said.

Toilets have been built without septic pits and the lack of water in many villages has been a huge barrier to regular toilet use, Ramesh said.

"Even as sanitation languishes, the availability of water has declined. For instance, in Shivpuri, there are almost 500 villages that exhaust 50 per cent of their year's water supply by February itself. Were the grand promises of Swachh Bharat and Har Ghar Jal also just jumlas?" Ramesh said.

He further said that Morena district has the dubious distinction of being the only district in the country where Section 144 has been imposed on particular types of electric wires, and electric heaters.

The collector's office was forced to take this drastic step because people are using these wires and parts of heaters to steal electricity, Ramesh said.

"Rs. 110 crore worth of electricity is supplied to Morena every month but the electricity company only receives payments worth Rs. 38 crore, which includes Rs. 28 crore from industries. This means that more than 85 per cent of electricity in Morena is being stolen," Ramesh said.

Most people in the district have no choice but to rely on makeshift connections, which are then also responsible for electric faults and transformer explosions, he said.

"After being in power for almost two decades now, why has the BJP been unable to provide legitimate electricity connections to the people of Morena?" Ramesh said and asked the prime minister to break his 'silence' on these issues.

Published 25 April 2024, 08:05 IST

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