New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Chief Ministers of BJP-ruled states today said the UPA's attempts to provide resources on religious basis amounted to the beginning of 'divisive politics', endangering the nation and asserted that poverty should be the criteria for bringing about an inclusive growth.
Talking to newspersons on the sidelines of the National Development Council meeting here to approve the 11th five year plan, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said they had drawn the attention of the NDC that Prime Minister Manmohan Singh himself had conceded that 150 districts in the country were naxal-affected and poverty problems afflicting this huge area should be resolved first.
The poor living in these areas must be helped and if the 11th plan is providing 15 per cent of the resources on religion based budgeting, it would only amount to vote bank politics, Mr Modi said.
About 19 per cent of the villages and 38 per cent people had no access to electricity and one could not talk of 'inclusive growth', Mr Modi said. A huge section of the people are poor and they are unhappy and if the government is adamant in its attitude, it would confound an already confused atmosphere. "If you don't keep poverty as a criteria for extending help, things will not improve", he remarked.
The BJP CMs have taken a tough stand after the party issued a directive yesterday to oppose vehemently any move to provide religion based budget allocation of resources at the NDC.
He refused an answer if the BJP CMs would oppose the 11th plan or what course the BJP CMs would adopt in the event of the government going ahead with its plan to allocate 15 per cent of the resources to the minorities. ''Poverty and disease afflicts everybody irrespective of the people's religion. We have expressed our views in the NDC that the communal budgeting is a danger to the nation,'' he said.
Mr Chouhan, on his part, said religion based allocations was impractical and was nothing but furthering the appeasement policies and vote bank politics. There should be justice for the poor of all religions Hindus or Muslims. There were poor among the so-called upper castes also, he said adding "this kind of thinking will only sow the seeds for a proposal to divide the nation on religion and we are totally opposed to this".
Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje on her part deviating from the written text opposed the religion based allocations.