Centre can’t help if state govts empty their coffers through tall poll promises: Amit Shah

CAA will be implemented before Lok Sabha poll


NEW DELHI, Feb 10: Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday said the central government can't help the states which empty their treasuries after making unrealistic election promises.
All states should prepare their budget taking into account development programmes and social welfare commitments, he said at an event here when asked about the allegation of discrimination against some states in the release funds by the Centre.
The governments of West Bengal, Kerala and Karnataka recently held protests in the national capital alleging that they were not given their due share of funds, a charge refuted by the finance minister.
Shah said in the white paper, tabled in Lok Sabha, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman has given details about the funds given to the states.
"The white paper has details of how much funds we have given to the states, how much more funds we have given than what Congress used to give to every state - be it BJP or opposition ruled," he said at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024.
The home minister said it was Prime Minister Narendra Modi who took the initiative to give more funds to the states through the 15th Finance Commission and people know about it.
"But if you make such election promises through which you want to empty the treasury and as a result, you don't have funds even to pay the salaries, in such a situation, the government of India cannot give help," he said.
He said everyone should prepare the budget taking into account development and social welfare programmes and that is what the government of India is doing.
On the 'one nation, one poll' issue, Shah said the panel, headed by former president Ram Nath Kovind is likely to submit its report by March.
Since the Lok Sabha election is due, the issue can be discussed by the people after the polls, he said.
PM Modi has made it clear that for the all-round development of the country and for the overall welfare of the nation, simultaneous election is necessary for the country, he said.
The BJP will get 370 seats and the NDA more than 400 in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and form the government for a third consecutive term under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said here on Saturday.
Shah asserted that there is no suspense over the outcome of the Lok Sabha polls and even the Congress and other opposition parties have realised that they will again have to sit in the opposition benches.
“We have abrogated Article 370 (of the Constitution, which gave a special status to the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir). So we believe that the people of the country will bless the BJP with 370 seats and the NDA with over 400 seats,” Shah said at the ET NOW Global Business Summit 2024.
Asked about the possibility of the Rashtriya Lok Dal (RLD), headed by Jayant Choudhary, Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) and some other regional parties joining the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), the home minister said the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) “believes in family planning but not in politics”, giving an indication that more parties may join the ruling coalition.
When pressed further on the SAD, he said, “Talks are going on but nothing has been finalised.”
Shah said the 2024 polls will not be an election between the NDA and the INDIA opposition bloc, but between development and those who give mere slogans.
Asked about the Bharat Jodo Yatra of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, he said the the Nehru-Gandhi scion has no right to go ahead with such a march as his party was responsible for the country’s partition in 1947.
On the timing of a white paper tabled by the government in Parliament, Shah said it was necessary as the country has full right to know what mess the Congress-led United Progressive alliance (UPA) left behind when it lost power in 2014.
“At that time (2014), the economy was in a bad shape. There were scams everywhere. Foreign investment was not coming. Had we taken out a white paper at that time, it would have given a wrong message to the world.
“But after 10 years, our government has revived the economy, brought foreign investment and there is no corruption at all. So it is the right time to publish the white paper,” he said.
On the Ram temple in Ayodhya, the home minister said the people of the country believed for 500-550 years that the temple should be built at the place where Lord Ram was born.
“However, due to the politics of appeasement and citing law and order, the construction of the Ram temple was not allowed,” he said.
On the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Shah said the law, enacted in 2019, will be implemented before the Lok Sabha polls after issuing the rules in this regard.
“Our Muslim brothers are being misled and instigated (against the CAA). The CAA is only meant to give citizenship to those who came to India after facing persecution in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. It is not for snatching anyone’s Indian citizenship,” he said.
On a Uniform Civil Code, Shah said it is a constitutional agenda, signed by the country’s first prime minister, Jawaharlal Nehru, and others.
“But the Congress had ignored it due to appeasement. The enforcement of the UCC in Uttarakhand is a social change. It will be discussed on all forums and face legal scrutiny. A secular country cannot have religion-based civil codes,” he said.
Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Saturday, while terming Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) as the law of the country, said that it will be implemented before the Lok Sabha election.
Speaking at the ET Global Business Summit here, he said that the minority community of the country especially Muslims, are being misled that this Act will take away their citizenship.
"This Act will not take away the citizenship as there is no such provision in it. CAA is for providing citizenship to refugees of minority communities who have come to India after being persecuted on basis of religion in Pakistan and Bangladesh," Shah said.
"I think there should not be any objection into it," he added.
The Home Minister said that UCC was the agenda of BJP during the Jan Sangh time and there should not be any doubt in it.
He said that the Congress while practicing appeasement politics forgot about UCC which was a Constitutional agenda and was also signed by first Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru and leaders such as Maulana Azad, Sardar Patel and Rajendra Prasad.
"In Uttarakhand, UCC was enforced as it is a huge social change agenda. The UCC Law in state should also have a social, religious discussions. And there will be legal scrutiny too. There cannot be a religion-based law in a secular country," he asserted.

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