BJP, Congress out to debunk each other's vows to voters

BJP, Congress out to debunk each other's vows to voters

Even as the first phase of Gujarat elections are complete and campaigning for the second phase is on in full swing, both the BJP and the Congress  are out  to knock out each other's promises to voters.

If Rahul Gandhi  is  questioning the much-touted "Gujarat model of development" at all his rallies, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has broken his silence by launching his first major direct attack on the Patidar quota, which has been promised by the Congress to community leader Hardik Patel.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley too  took to a Facebook post on Saturday to question the Congress' promise of a tax waiver of Rs 20,000 crore, which, he held, will bring down the effective revenue income of the state to Rs 70,000 crore from Rs 90,000 crore.

The second phase of voting for the remaining 93 seats on December 14  will be crucial for both the parties to make up for their deficiencies in the first phase, which covered 89 constituencies.

With Rahul Gandhi attacking the PM by saying that the issue of 'development'  is missing from his speeches, Modi has made it a point to list almost every single big-ticket decision of his government at the Centre and when he was chief minister of Gujarat.

Modi questioned the veracity of the Congress' assurance of reservation to the Patidar community. He did not mince words in saying that it would have to "snatch" the share of SCs, STs and OBCs to help the Patidars because of the 50% ceiling on quota in jobs and seats in educational institutions following the Supreme Court's judgement.

He implied that the Congress had made similar "false promise" on Muslim quota in several states, including Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, which were later struck down by court.

3 infirmities

Jaitley held that the Congress campaign in Gujarat suffered from three "infirmities." The first distinct aspect of the Congress campaign was that "it has clearly demolished its own state-level leadership and outsourced both its leadership and issues to those who had conventionally nothing to do with the party."

Jaitley said "the second limb of the Congress campaign has been that the Gujarat model of development does not exist. This claim has been conclusively demolished by the recent data that Gujarat is the only State in India whose GDP grew by 10% during the period 2012-2017."

Thirdly, Jaitley said, "The Supreme Court, since 1992, has repeatedly reemphasised that the net total of all reservation cannot exceed 50%. States which have attempted to breach this cap have faced constitutional resistance. A promise of reservation beyond 50% has been made by the Congress and the PAAS to the people of Gujarat."

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