Rajkot, Oct 24 (UNI) Expressing serious concern over law and order in Gujarat, Union Minister of State for Home Sriprakash Jaiswal today said the crime graph in the peaceful state has gone up during the BJP regime.
Talking to mediapersons here in a press-meet programme, Mr Jaiswal said the law and order situation in the peaceful state was detriorating.
He categorically denied to compare the law and order situation with those of other states like Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. ''The people of Gujarat were always of peaceful nature,'' he said.
The Minister said, ''I have visited Jamnagar, Morbi and Gondal and felt that this time there should be change of guard in the assembly elections and Congress would emerge victorious. People should not be cheated often on the basis of their emotions, the people are intelligent and they have learnt a lesson.'' When asked whether Congress was ready for a tie-up with NCP during the Gujarat Assembly elections, the Minister said, ''It was up to the All India Congress Committee (AICC) and the state Congress unit to decide for the tie-up with any like-minded party.'' In reply to a question, Mr Jaiswal said the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) members will decide whom to chose for the post of Chief Ministership in Gujarat. He said the party has a tradition to elect the leader from the legislative members and there was no question of naming anybody before the polls.
Criticising the state government for privatisation of health and education sectors, he said the middle-income group people were the worst sufferers due to the privatisation.
He said the Congress was not against privatisation for the economic growth but it should not be done at the cost of poor and middle income group people.
''Congress was always with the poor, and, if voted to power in the state, it would give the best services to the poor and middle-group people in the health and education sectors. The Congress government would take initiative for the privatisation and liberalisation,'' Mr Jaiswal said.
The Minister also criticised the BJP for opposing the Indo-US civil nuclear deal which, he said, would benefit the energy sector.
He alleged that farmers of Gujarat were not getting sufficient electricity for their farm products, but for eight hours only.
When informed that the Centre had taken away 200 megawatt from Gujarat, the Minister replied that the Energy Minister would answer it, adding, Gujarat Chief Minister had given wrong information to the people.