The BJP on Friday said the Congress poll manifesto in Gujarat promising quota for Patidars and farm debt waiver was “constitutionally impossible” and “financially improbable” and that the party’s policy of social polarisation would harm the state. Releasing the BJP’s poll agenda a day before the state votes in the first of the two-phase election on Saturday, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took a dig at the Congress saying its promise of reservation for Patidars was “politics of damage” for Gujarat. “Social polarisation in Gujarat will be politics of damage for the state and if the Congress moves in that path it will cause harm to the state,” Jaitley told reporters.
“One of Congress’ poll promises is constitutionally impossible, which is reservation. It cannot go beyond 50 per cent. The Congress vision is based on constitutional impossibility.” The Congress in its manifesto has promised that if it forms the government in the state, it will bring in a special bill to provide quotas for those who are not presently entitled to any reservation and Patidars will get quota under special category. The quota given to OBCs, STs and SCs will not be touched. The Congress also promised to slash petrol and diesel prices by Rs 10 a litre and waive off farm debt. It also vowed to give every unemployed youth Rs 4,000 a month as unemployment allowance till he/she gets a job.
Jaitley said the Congress promises were far from the reality. “These are the promises that cannot be met and have not even a distant relationship with governance… In reality, such promises are financially improbable.” The Finance Minister said Gujarat was the only state among the bigger ones that had double-digit growth rate of 10 per cent in the last few years. “And this was in those five years when the world and the national economy was not booming.” He said critics of the Gujarat model should “understand with seriousness Gujarat’s GDP growth and the state under BJP rule has witnessed development in every social and financial sector”.