Just after the revolt of JJP MLA Ram Kumar Gautam, another MLA supporting the BJP government Balraj Kundu also sounded a bugle within three months of formation of BJP-JJP alliance government. Will the chain of resentment continue to increase its length or will the Controller –Generals of the alliance succeed in curbing the voice of indignation? Before a final note, let us discuss the background.
Sometimes, bad luck of one turns to good luck for the other. BJPs not gaining the majority win in the Haryana Assembly elections in October 2019 bestowed a sunny glowing day upon Jannayak Janta Party (JJP) in the murky political scenario. After winning all the 10 Lok Sabha seats in May, 2019 on the air wings of Modi, the over confident state BJP declared its target of 75 plus seats out of 90 in Haryana Vidhan Sabha. But it failed to read the ground report. When election results were announced, the BJP which was flying high in the sky on the gas filled balloons, dashed to the ground and got only 40 seats out of total 90 seats. The main opposition party Congress got 31 seats, the newly formed JJP secured 10 seats while the independents and others succeeded in getting 9 seats.
It has been noticed in different elections that in Haryana the voters don’t take on top priority the development through ‘Sabka Saath –Sabka Vikas’, rather they want “Mera Saath –Mera Vikas”. It is generally quoted that had they liked the general or public development works, the former Chief Minister late Chaudhary Bansi Lal would never have lost the elections.
Generally to get the elections and defections favourably the high side promises are made and if one sees the least chances to win then sometimes the political leaders bless everyone with a son. JJP did so and made 160 promises in its manifesto during elections, which require a huge fund to fulfill these. Some of these are high side promises which was not possible to implement due to the paucity of funds with the state and other restrictions. JJP knew this before-hand but it promised these just to bend the voters towards it. JJP had not even thought of it getting the power share so soon. Now their own promises have put BJP-JJP alliance government in a dilemma. Having made nearly 400 promises out of which 70 are common are being considered for their common minimum programme.
Some major promises of the JJP are-increase in the monthly old age pension from the existing Rs 2,000 to 5,100, lowering down of eligibility age for the old age pension from the present 60 years to 55 for women and 58 for males, to reserve 75 per cent of jobs for the local youth which constitute a sizeable chunk of nearly 1.83 crore voters of the state, to give a monthly assistance of Rs 11,000 per month to unemployed youth while student from rural areas to be given extra ten marks when they appear in competitive examinations in the state for the farmers, a bonus of 10 per cent or Rs 100 to be given over MSP, minimum wages to be fixed at Rs 16,000 and to waive loans taken by farmers from the cooperative banks.
Haryana Cooperation Minister, Dr. Banwari Lal , while announcing the last date of ‘One Time Settlement Scheme’ till January 31, 2020 for loanee members and farmers who have an account with cooperative banks to facilitate the members and farmers to take advantage of the scheme told that the total amount of short term loan of Harco Bank is about Rs 3,091 crore and there are about 6,99,804 beneficiaries out of which Rs 1136.36 crore has been recovered from 2,51,481 beneficiaries till 31 December 2019.
Ranjit Singh the Haryana Power and Jails minister while addressing media persons during the first bijli panchayat in Hisar on Sunday Jan 05,2020 divulged, “According to the data of rural domestic consumers, the total pending amount is Rs.2,900 crore, of which Rs. 95 crore is of farmers using tube wells. We are meeting the panchayat members of villages that are on the defaulters’ list and will ask them how they will pay the amount.”
During the assembly election campaign, Congress leader and former chief minister of Haryana Bhupinder Singh Hooda had alleged that due to wrong policies of the BJP government, Haryana had become a debt ridden state . In a tweet on October 15,2019, Hooda alleged , “BJP government had emptied the state treasury coffers and burdened the government
To start with, the alliance government declared the implementation of its first promise of enhancement of old age and widow pension from present Rs. 2,000 per month to Rs. 2,250 by affecting an increase of just Rs. 250/ per month.
Now Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar announced an increase in all monthly social security pensions including the old age pension from Rs. 2,000 to Rs.2,250.
Since 2015, the state government has extended an increase of Rs 200 in these pensions every year. The old age pension which was Rs.1,000 in 2014 was increased in the last five years at the rate of Rs.200 every year giving a last slab of Rs. 2, 000 per month.
However, BJP’s power partner JJP had promised an ambitious increase in the monthly old age pension from the existing Rs 2,000 to Rs.5,100 ,whereas the BJP had promised to increase the old age pension to Rs .3,000 per month during the assembly election campaign.
Reacting over the pension enhancement , the former Chief Minister, Bhupinder Hooda said on January 6,2020 at Rohtak , “It is no achievement by the government as it has hiked only Rs.50 additionally .”
If we consider this increase of Rs. 250 per month as a routine yearly increase on the lines of previous yearly increases of Rs. 200 per year by BJP led government , then question arises, what the JJP did? Did JJP succeed in getting an increase of Rs. 50 only as its share? What about its promise of Rs. 5100 per month?
Commenting on the increase, Congress leader and three times Member Lok Sabha, Deepender Singh Hooda reacted on January,03,2020, “The BJP-JJP alliance government has given a lollypop to the public by just enhancing old age pension from Rs. 2000 to Rs. 2250 against a promise of Rs. 5100. The public will never forgive the alliance government for this betrayal. Is this the common minimum programme?”
Congress leader Randeep Singh Surjewala took a dig at the BJP-JJP coalition government in Haryana and said their common minimum programme had become “common mess of parties”.
Indian National Lok Dal supreme operator and former leader of opposition in Haryana Assembly, Abhay Singh Chautala tells the pension increase as ‘A drop in ocean’ and questions JJP leaders, without naming them, “Where are the persons, who were claiming to extend Rs. 5100 per month pension to the old age citizens ?”
But still the JJP appreciating the step. Speaking to the media in Bhiwani on January 4, 2020, JJP supremo and Deputy CM Dushyant Chautala said, “We have increased the pension by Rs.250 just in a short span of 67 days, this will lay a burden of Rs. 1000 crore on the state exchequer .”
After the first meeting of the Common Minimum Programme (CMP) Committee held in Chandigarh on November 28,2019, CMP Committee chairperson and senior cabinet minister Anil Vij said that many promises of both the parties –BJP and JJP are similar and implementation of many has already been started.
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-By Jag Mohan Thaken
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