Gandhinagar: Releasing its vision document just a day before polling to 89 of the 182 seats of the Gujarat Assembly, the BJP termed the Congress party’s poll promises on reservation and financial concessions as ‘constitutionally impossible’ and financially improbable if not impossible’.
Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, who released the vision document, which stood reduced to a formality, began by quoting CRISIL figures which ranked Gujarat at the top amongst the big states with the highest GSDP in the last five years; he claimed that the state has recorded an average growth rate of 10 per cent in the last five years. ”China was known to have such double digit growth. The statistics of the state speak volumes for the Gujarat growth model,” he added.
Talking about the focus of BJP in the ensuing five years, Jaitley said, “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.”
However, taking a leaf out of the rival Congress manifesto, the BJP too promised to effectively implement the law banning cow slaughter. It also promised to double the income of the farmers, though it did not give any time frame for it. The BJP also promised to set up new industrial regions to generate employment and encourage start-ups apart from setting up a special empowerment fund for women. The party also promised to enhance the widow pension from time to time. (Interestingly, Gujarat has figured in the list of 12 states and union territories penalised for showing lack of concern for women.)
The party also promised to effectively regulate the fees charged by the private schools apart from enhancing the number of centres for cheap and generic medicines and setting up mobile clinics and government diagnostic labs.
On the promise of quotas to Patidar community by the Congress, Jaitley said that it was nothing but a ‘Constitutional Impossibility.” Interestingly, while the party spoke of welfare measures for tribals, OBC, nomadic and de-notified tribes as well as the economically weaker sections, it was silent on the minorities.