Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh hit back at Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday, claiming that he was boasting about the record of current Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s record as Chief Minister of Gujarat, whereas a Niti Aayog report has revealed somewhat different facts and the “reality” of the latter’s tenure in the state of Gujarat.
In his post on X, formerly known as Twitter, Ramesh said, “In the initial part of his speech in the Lok Sabha today evening, the Home Minister was waxing eloquent about the Prime Minister’s record as Chief Minister of Gujarat. Here’s the reality revealed by Niti Aayog data.”
Ramesh shared the post on X, in a reply to his own post dated August 19, which claimed that over 38 per cent of Gujarat’s population is under-nourished, as per a report of the Niti Aayog.
The remarks made by Ramesh came after Shah — during his speech on the Women’s Reservation Bill — lauded Modi’s women-led initiatives since he took over as the Chief Minister of Gujarat and later as the Prime Minister of the country.
Shah said, “The passage of the Women’s Reservation Bill will mark the start of a new era… Women’s security, respect and equal participation have been the life force of the government since Prime Minister Modi took the oath of office…He also presented the vision of women-led progress in the G20.”
According to a news report on Telangana Today, “It has been proved, yet again, that the Gujarat Model is more hype than reality. Despite a high economic growth rate, Gujarat has lagged behind in human development indices, with especially high malnutrition and infant mortality rates, according to the National Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) report, released by Niti Aayog in July this year.”
The report says, “As per the (Niti Aayog) report, a staggering 38 percent of Gujarat’s population is under-nourished, indicating a deep-rooted problem affecting the overall health and well-being of residents across the State. Nearly half of the rural Gujarat population is deprived of nutrition (44.45 per cent), while the figure for urban areas is 28.97 per cent. The MPI report, based on data from 2015-16 and 2019-21, stated that three out of every 100 individuals in Gujarat were suffering from malnutrition during this time period.”
It adds, “According to the Niti Aayog report, backward States such as Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh have fared comparatively better than Gujarat on the nutrition front. The report says that 39 percent of children in the State are underweight for their age. Gujarat ranked second in terms of wasted and underweight children, at 25.1 percent and 39.7 per cent, respectively. In addition to the distressing figures on malnutrition, the report highlights another disheartening fact that more than a third of the rural population in Gujarat lacks adequate housing.”
Meanwhile, the report asserts that about, 23.30 percent of the population is deprived of housing. Kerala, Punjab and Tamil Nadu have performed better than Gujarat in providing houses to poor. The scenario is worse for rural areas as 35.52 per cent of the rural population is deprived of housing, which is higher than in other major states such as Haryana, Punjab, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.