Raje govt got distracted over `useless issues': Gov

Raje govt got distracted over `useless issues': Gov

Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh, state Assembly Speaker C.P. Joshi and Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot during the ongoing Rajasthan Assembly, in Jaipur. (PTI Photo)

In his address at the first session of the new state assembly, Rajasthan Governor Kalyan Singh on Thursday accused the former BJP government of getting “distracted” from more important issues as it tried to find flaws with the Congress-led regime before it.

The customary address – in which the government of the day lays out its agenda – was marred by disruptions by Rashtriya Loktantrik Party chief Hanuman Beniwal who climbed on to a platform near the assembly secretary’s desk.

Speaking for the recently elected Congress government led by Ashok Gehlot, the governor said economic growth rate dropped during Vasundhara Raje government's term.

"The former government got distracted over useless issues like finding flaws of its previous government,” Kalyan Singh said.

“As a result of which the annual average economic growth rate, which was 8.16 per cent in 2009-10 to 2013-14 reduced to 7.19 per cent in 2014-15 to 2017-18. The average increase in per capita income was 14.95 per cent from 2009-10 to 2013-14 but it reduced to 9.68 per cent during 2014-15 to 2017-18," he said in his address, which was tabled in the House.

Similarly, the growth rate in the agriculture sector which was 4.19 per cent in 2008-09 increased to 8.94 per cent in 2013-14," he said.

But with the “wrong policies” of the Vasundhara Raje government, which followed, the growth rate in the sector dropped to 3.95 per cent in 2017-18, according to the address.

There was no immediate reaction from the BJP, now the main opposition in the state, on the Congress government's charge.

The governor also targeted the previous Raje government on rising debt.

“The total debt and liabilities on the state in 2013-14 was Rs 1.29 lakh crore. This is estimated to be Rs 3.08 lakh crore in 2018-19 due to financial mismanagement and the short-sighted vision of the former government," he said.

Singh said the fiscal deficit was over 3 per cent during the tenure of the former government.

The governor also highlighted the priorities of the new state government for the next 100 days.

He said the government dedicated its first decision on coming to power to the farmers, waiving their short-term loans of up to Rs 2 lakh taken from all nationalised banks, scheduled banks and regional rural banks.

The governor said the state government will work towards making farmers economically empowered.

It will create employment in the animal husbandry and dairy sector, constitute a farmers' commission and tackle problems related to cow shelters, he said.

The government will also work on an integrated scheme for urban and industrial development in areas near the Barmer refinery.

He said over the next five years, the state government will strengthen panchayati raj institutions and create more jobs under the rural employment generation law MGNREGA.

In the education sector, the government will review opening schools closed during the previous BJP government’s term, encourage Sanskrit education, develop skills in youths through technical and professional education and establish a nodal centre in Jaipur for industrial training and placement.

The government also promised to provide quality healthcare, including the implementation of a free medicines scheme that was introduced during the earlier Congress term.

As Kalyan Singh began his address, Rashtriya Loktantrik Party chief Hanuman Beniwal and two other MLAs from his party rushed into the well of the House, disrupting the speech.

Beniwal also climbed on to a platform near the assembly secretary’s desk, continuing to interrupt the speech.

After reading out a few lines, the governor tabled the address and left the House, following protocol.

When the sitting resumed later, RLTP MLAs again disrupted the proceedings. This time several BJP MLAs also rushed into the well of the House, countering them with slogans.