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No greater proof of the government’s ‘inefficiency’ than the change of CMs in Gujarat: Congress leader Manish Tewari

Senior Congress leader Manish Tewari claimed on Wednesday that there can be no greater proof of a government’s “inefficiency” than the move to replace its prime ministers in Bharatiya Janata Party-controlled Gujarat, where parliamentary elections are due next month.

Speaking to reporters here, former Union minister Tewari attacked the state government for its “arrogance” as he referred to last month’s Morbi bridge collapse, which claimed 135 lives, and asked why no one was stepping down because of it and why the “biggest accused”, the wealthy and those who got the contract to renovate the bridge have not been arrested.

The BJP had replaced the then Prime Minister of Gujarat Anandiben Patel with Vijay Rupani in 2016.

Rupani, who continued as CM after the 2017 election, was replaced last year by Bhupendra Patel, who is also the BJP’s chief ministerial face for the Gujarat Assembly polls to be held on December 1 and 5.

Tewari said: ‘There can be no greater proof of a government’s inefficiency than the fact that the CMs had to be kicked out. What the plight of (the current CM) will be is for the public to decide. “There can be no greater living example of government failure than having to replace your prime ministers three times,” he said.

Tewari claimed that corruption was legitimized in Gujarat and that the same model was imposed on the country.

“This legitimization of corruption is dangerous for the country,” he said.

Gujarat’s debt stood at Rs 2.98 lakh crore and the unemployment rate for youths aged 20-24 is 12.5 per cent, arguably the highest in the country, the congress leader claimed.

On the collapse of the Morbi bridge, Tewari said: “I thought if such a tragedy had happened in another state where more than 141 people died and more than 180 were injured, no one would have resigned, no one would be held accountable ?” Ticket sellers and those who worked on the nuts of the construction have been arrested. Why aren’t those who got the contract arrested? This is because the government’s arrogance has increased to such an extent that despite its brutality and behavior towards the public, it feels that it will succeed in returning to power,” he said.

When asked about the Aam Aadmi party, the new poll entrant in Gujarat, Tewari claimed that the kind of managerial experience, sensitivity and responsibility required to run Punjab, which borders Pakistan, has not been demonstrated by the new (AAP) government.

“I would ask the people of Gujarat not to repeat the mistake,” he said.

When asked about the BJP targeting political opponents ahead of the Gujarat elections by referring to Narmada Bachao Andolan activist Medha Patkar, Tewari claimed that the state government has a “PhD to divert attention” from issues affecting the public such as inflation, unemployment, management of the COVID-19 pandemic and corruption.

“I would like to ask the Prime Minister why he is not talking about development? Whenever there are elections, the issues that concern the public such as unemployment, inflation, damages caused by COVID-19 or corruption are sidelined by the BJP,” he said.

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