Guj polls: Congress releases manifesto

Last Updated: Tue, Dec 04, 2012 11:57 hrs
Guj polls: Congress releases manifesto

The Congress released the its manifesto for the upcoming Gujarat assembly elections on Tuesday.

The party, in a previous announcement, had promised affordable housing for urban women, free laptops to students, sops to government employees and reduction of VAT on petrol and diesel, if voted to power.

Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit unveiled the manifesto that made several promises including subsidized diesel, pipeline gas, irrigation, Green Gujarat, all-round development, satellite townships, free tablets and laptops for students, promotion of gram panchayats and aganwadis and women empowerment.

It also promised special sops to drought-hit farmers in Kutch and Saurashtra or Kathiwar region and some areas in Ahmedabad district in the state, reports said.

Releasing the manifesto in Ahmedabad, Dikshit said: "Our manifesto is always pro-people. The BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) has been in power for 17 years here and the state has been on a decline."

Attacking Narendra Modi, she said the Gujarat Chief Minister needs to learn from her Delhi government.

"We don´t have to learn from Modi," Dikshit said.

Gujarat Congress President Arjun Modhwadia said the Congress will create a state for commoners.

"We are not going to have Tatas, Birlas and Satyams. We will create a state for aam Gujarat... We will open the doors for aam aadmi (common men)," Modhwadia said during the release of the manifesto.

He said the law and order situation has deteriorated in the state under ´Modi´s governance´.

"Under the governance of Narendra Modi, crime against children has increased and almost 14,000 children have been reportedly missing. Nothing has been done in connection to the matter," Modhwadia said.

"The police have sidelined the safety of the people of the state as they are busy promoting Modi´s political ambitions," he said.

On Monday, the BJP released its for the upcoming assembly polls promising more jobs, low interest loans for farmers and specialty hospitals.

"Due to development in Gujarat in the last 10 years, there has been substantial rise in this neo-middle class. We want to address their issues. We will form a committee to define this neo middle class," Gujarat chief minister Modi said while releasing the manifesto.

Reacting to it, Congress spokesperson Manish Tewari said, "If the middle class in this country has prospered, it is because of the policies which have been put in place by UPA government."

Stating that the manifesto was a "blue print" for the next five years, Modi said: "The manifesto focuses on all round development of the state. It will touch all sections of society."

"People generally use the word manifesto. However, I have selected the word ´Sankalp Patra´ which means my commitment towards Gujarat," he said.

The BJP manifesto assures more than 30 lakh jobs for the youth and housing for the poor. It also promises to set up modern speciality hospitals in Surat, Vadodara, Rajkot and North Gujarat.

It promises lower interest rates loans for farmers, cold storages and agro processing units besides large scale irrigation facilities. It has assured to set up more courts in talukas for women.

Speaking on the housing projects, the Chief Minister said: "In the past 10 years, the BJP has constructed 22 lakh houses. In the upcoming five years, we are going to construct 50 lakh more."

He said the agriculture sector will produce "maximum number of employment for Gujarat".

"I will ensure insurance for all," he said.

Gujarat goes to polls on Dec 13 and 17.

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