Former finance minister P. Chidambaram hit out at the Centre and dubbed its claim of providing electricity to every single village in India as a ‘jumla’.
Chidambaram also accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of taking credit for the work done by the previous UPA-led government.
“Government said every village in India has been electrified. It’s a ‘jumla’. There are some 5,97,000 villages in India. 1000 days ago Narendra Modi said 18,000 villages haven’t been electrified and it’ll be done in 1000 days. Who electrified rest 5,80,000 villages?,” Chidambaram said while addressing the Youth Congress national executive meeting in the national capital.
Taking a jibe at Prime Minister Modi, the former finance minister said, “Remaining 5,80,000 villages weren’t electrified in last 1000 days but by previous governments. He electrifies last 18,000 villages and says it’s great achievement of my government. It took them 3 yrs to electrify last 18,000 villages.”
As per Government of India, out of 18,452 villages in India that were power deprived 3 years ago, 17,181 have been electrified. Others are uninhabited or classified as grazing reserves.
The Last village to be electrified under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana was Leisang village located in Senapati district in Manipur.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi took to Twitter and wrote, ” 28th April 2018 will be remembered as a historic day in the development journey of India. Yesterday, we fulfilled a commitment due to which the lives of several Indians will be transformed forever! I am delighted that every single village of India now has access to electricity.”
“Leisang village in Manipur, like the thousands of other villages across India has been powered and empowered. This news will make every Indian proud and delighted,” he tweeted.
A village is said to be electrified if at least 10% of its households, as well as public places such as schools, panchayat offices, and health centers, have access to electricity.
Earlier in 2015, Centre had identified 18,452 villages to be electrified under the Deendayal Upadhyaya Gram Jyoti Yojana.
While all inhabited villages out of them have now been electrified, only 1,321 have access to power for all their households, the data on the Government’s Grameen Vidyutikaran (rural electrification) website showed.
Prime Minister Modi had promised in his Independence Day speech in 2015 that his government would bring electricity to all villages within 1,000 days.
Meanwhile, Chidambaram also said that unemployment will be the number one issue against the present government in the 2019 general elections.
“Unemployment will be the number one issue in 2019 elections. GST, Demonetisation, security of women, farmers suicide, the situation in Jammu and Kashmir, fraudsters running out of the country will be issues too but this will be the number one issue,” he said.