Journalist A. Surya Prakash petitioned the Chief Election Commissioner in March 2009 pointing out that Congress Party's obsession with three members of the Nehru-Gandhi family has meant that even the Father of the Nation, Mahatma Gandhi has been virtually forgotten:
Over the last 18 years, on a rough estimate about 450 Central and State Government programmes, projects and national and state level institutions involving public expenditure of hundreds of thousands of crores of rupees have been named after these three individuals-- Rajiv Gandhi, Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru...
Among the big ticket programmes that have been cleverly named after members of this family by the Union Government to extract unjust electoral mileage is the Rajiv Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana (rural electrification programme)... The drinking water mission ... is also named after him and is called the Rajiv Gandhi Drinking Water Mission. Other schemes, touching millions of people, which bear his name are the Rajiv Gandhi National Creche Scheme for Children of Working Mothers; the Rajiv Gandhi Udyami Mitra Yojana ( to promote small enterprises); the Rajiv Gandhi Shramik Kalyan Yojana and the Rajiv Gandhi Shilpi Swasthya Bima Yojana ( both insurance schemes).
This trend is even more apparent in the states, which have vied with each other to name programmes and schemes after these three members of the Nehru-Gandhi Family whenever the Congress Party was in power. Here is a sample: Rajiv Gandhi Breakfast Scheme, Pondicherry; Rajiv Ratna Awas Yojana, Delhi; Rajiv Arogyasri Health Insurance scheme, Andhra Pradesh; Rajiv Gandhi Computer Literacy Mission, Assam; Rajiv Gandhi Bridges and Roads Infrastructure Development Programme, Haryana; Rajiv Gandhi Vidyarthi Suraksha Yojana, Maharastra; Rajiv Gandhi Tourism Development Mission, Rajasthan
...The most glaring example, which raises a question is regard to free and fair election is the blatant advertisement of the Congress Party on the ambulances that provide emergency medical help all over Andhra Pradesh. These ambulances, which reach every village in the state in quick time, provide efficient integrated emergency services that cover medical emergencies, police and fire. The capital expenditure on each ambulance is Rs 10 lakh to Rs 16 lakhs and the running cost per ambulance is Rs 1.25 lakh per month. All this expenditure is borne out of public funds drawn from the Union and State accounts. Yet, it is made out as if these ambulances are a gift from the Congress Party to the people of the State because every ambulance carries a portrait of Rajiv Gandhi on both sides of the vehicle with the legend “Rajiv Arogyasri”.
HT: TJS George via churumuri
The Mayawati government in UP seems to have used this very complaint to counter the EC notice on statues of elephants and Mayawati.
Aug 18, 2009