Modi accuses Centre of resorting to 'communal budgeting'

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New Delhi, Dec 19 (UNI) Accusing the Planning Commission of introducing an ''obnoxious element of communal budgeting'' in the Eleventh Plan document, Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today said it was a sure recipe for social and political disharmony in the country, and appealed to the Government to withdraw the document from the NDC meeting.

''Is there any justification for making religion the basis for Plan document or for making it a parameter for defining poverty?'' Mr Modi asked, while addressing the high-profile meeting of the National Development Council (NDC), presided over by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

''The correct criteria for flow of funds for various schemes and programmes should be based on principle of equity by taking socio-economic criteria alone, and leaving the implementation of such schemes to the States,'' he told the conclave, which is to approve the Eleventh Plan document.

Mr Modi, attired in a black suit, said the Draft Eleventh Five Year Plan seeks to incorporate the Prime Minister's New !5-point programme for the welfare of minorities stipulating that, wherever possible, 15 per cent of targets and outlays under various schemes will be earmarked for the minorities.

Asserting that his government was firmly committed to the socio-economic development of all the 5.5 crore people of Gujarat, he, however, said the PM's 15-point programme focuses on earmarking certain outlays of development schemes of the Central government among the eligible beneficiaries, based on their minority status.

Such an approach ''should be reviewed in the interest of maintaining the social fabric of the nation. Such discrimination, amongst the eligible beneficiaries, for flow of funds, based on minority status, will not help the cause of taking the people of India together on the path of development,'' he said.

''There is an imperative need to save the country from communal budgeting,'' he added.

Mr Modi's diatribe against the Plan document comes in the wake of a diktat from BJP President Rajnath Singh that all the Chief ministers of the party-ruled states must articulate their opposition to it at the NDC meeting.

While other Chief Ministers of the BJP-ruled states preferred to mention it during their speech, Mr Modi made it a point that it was mentioned in his written speech as well.

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