BJP releases Gujarat manifesto 24 hrs ahead of polling day

Dismissing the Congress party's poll promises of reservation and financial concessions in Gujarat as "constitutionally impossible" and "financially improbable", Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday released the BJP's election manifesto just a day before the first phase of voting in the Assembly election begins on Saturday.

The finance minister began by quoting figures released by Crisil, which ranked Gujarat a topper among the big states with highest GSDP growth in last five years. "Gujarat has recorded an average growth rate of 10% in last five years, that too at a time when there was no boom in global or national economy. Earlier, China used to have such double digit growth. The statistics speak for themselves and answer those who question Gujarat growth model," he said.

However, unlike its opponent Congress party, that released a detailed manifesto addressing various sections of the society, BJP came out with generic statements without any specifics on many issues. "Infrastructure, port economy, agriculture growth, health & education, weaker sections would be the focus areas of our sankalp patra (vision document). We would work to keep Gujarat one and worry about all sections of the society," Jaitley said.

He said that the document also focuses on maintaining the high growth rate recorded by Gujarat in the coming years.

No money, no quota

Hitting out at Congress, Jaitley said that the concessions promised by Congress looked "financially improbable". As against the state's revenue of Rs 90,000 crore, the party had promised additional financial concessions worth Rs 1.21 lakh crore. The party has also promised to waive Rs 20,000 crore farm debt. "This means that the revenue will drop to Rs 70,000 crore and then you have to pay salaries, provide for administration cost, infrastructure building and growth," he said.

On the promise of quota for Patidar community by Congress, Jaitley said that it was nothing but a 'constitutional impossibility" as quotas cannot exceed 50%.

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