AGARTALA, Aug 16 - Terming the Independence Day as a historic and proud moment for the nation, Tripura Chief Minister Manik Sarkar on Saturday said the day is one of self-introspection � what we have achieved after getting Independence from the British rulers way back in 1947.
�The main objective of attaining freedom was to make India free from poverty, illiteracy and unemployment. But what we witness if one looks back? We have failed to achieve the target of attaining freedom even 68 years after Independence�, he said while addressing a gathering to mark the 69th Independence Day at Assam Riffles ground here.
Quoting a recent report of the United Nations, Sarkar said around 7,200 people die of starvation every 24 hours in the country and about 50 per cent children aged below five are suffering from low weight. �While mothers and their children are facing malnutrition problem, the number of billionaires has been swelling with every passing year�, he said.
�Country�s one-fourth GDP is owned by only 70 big industrial houses. Besides, they have bulk amount stashed in foreign countries�, he alleged.
Sarkar said 35/36 crore youths aged in between 21-35 years are jobless whereas around 40 lakh posts are lying vacant in different Central Government departments.
Poking fun at the much-hyped slogan �acche din�, Sarkar said, �Country goes to polls every five years. A government is constituted which had promised to bring �acche din� by safeguarding the common people�s interest. After coming to power, the new government forgets the promise and instead of bringing �acche din�, the government is taking care of big industrial houses�.
They had promised to arrest the skyrocketing price hike and to look after the interest of poor farmers, he said adding that the reality check of past 15 months tells something else.
�Farmers are reeling under crisis with 12,000 farmers having committed suicide since the new government came to power in Delhi. Price rise continues to harass commoners. The government, it seems remain silent on the core problems�, he said. On the unemployment problem, Sarkar recalled that the new government had promised to create one crore job each year. �I am in doubt if the government could absorb 10 lakh posts in various departments where 40 lakh posts are lying vacant till date�, he pointed out.
The Chief Minister also sharply criticised the government in Delhi on the corruption issue. �The blots of corruption still prevail even after ousting of Congress-led government. A few Union Ministers and some Chief Ministers are getting involved in unethical works. Opposition parties have been demanding action against those Union Ministers who are involved in discrepancies. Processing of Lok Sabha remains stalled for 21/22 days. Interestingly, the government in Delhi is trying to safeguard those who have been facing opposition wrath�, he said.
Hitting hard on the new governments� policy, he said outlays in different key sectors � education, agriculture, rural development, water and irrigation have been reduced in this year�s budget. �How come �acche din� will come if one reduces outlay in key sectors? It�s simply impossible�, he warned.
Sarkar also expressed his dismay over the amendment in the Land Acquisition Bill by promulgating an Ordinance. �The amendment in the Land Acquisition Bill has been moved to safeguard the interest of big industrial houses at the cost of farmers�, he alleged.