"Haryana used to be number one in all spheres, including per capita income and per capita investment, but now it has fallen back. Now, it is number one in crime and unemployment," Hooda, who is the state legislature party leader, said.
Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda on Friday slammed the Manohar Lal Khattar-led BJP government in the state, blaming it for unemployment and deteriorating law and order situation. Speaking to reporters after the Congress released its poll manifesto here in the presence of these two and other leaders, including party general secretary-incharge of Haryana, Ghulam Nabi Azad and state leader Kiran Choudhary, Hooda said the state which was number one in all spheres during previous regime has fallen back.
“Haryana used to be number one in all spheres, including per capita income and per capita investment, but now it has fallen back. Now, it is number one in crime and unemployment,” Hooda, who is the state legislature party leader, said. He said the Congress is the only hope before the people of Haryana and exuded confidence that party will return to power in the state.
Selja blamed the Khattar government for “rising unemployment, drug abuse, the mining mafia, the transport mafia and the closure of industrial units”. She claimed that Haryana had the highest unemployment rate of 28.7 per cent in the country. “Between age groups of 15 and 19, unemployment rate is 96 per cent and 65 per cent between 20 and 24 age group,” she said.
“Crime graph has risen so much that Haryana is on top, especially in cases of crime against women. During the BJP regime, there has been 36 per cent rise in crime graph while rape cases have gone up by 42 per cent. You can imagine what is happening in Haryana on law and order front,” Selja said.
“The Khattar government indulged in wasteful expenditure like spending on huge advertisements. We will seek account of every single penny and come out with a white paper on their wasteful expenditure,” she added. Ghulam Nabi Azad said the party is committed to honouring all its poll promises. He claimed that when the Congress-led UPA was in power at the Centre, it went beyond its poll promises.
“Unfortunately, there is a difference in our party and other political parties — that we are hero in delivering but zero in publicity,” he said. Taking a dig at the BJP, he said, “Other parties, especially the one running the government at the Centre and in other states at present, are zero in delivering but hero in publicity.”
Replying to a question that previous Hooda regime had promised to accord Punjabi second language status, Azad said, “We will implement what Hooda had promised.” On a question asked about the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana, Azad said, “We implement it for farmers, but the BJP government does it for benefit of private companies.”
On former state Congress chief Ashok Tanwar levelling allegations of tickets being sold, he said, “For the last six years when Shatrughan Sinha ( who was earlier with the BJP) used to train guns on Prime Minister Narendra Modi, no one questioned that.” The Congress in its manifesto promised a slew of benefits for women — including job quotas, pensions and free bus rides.
The party promised 33 per cent reservation to women in government and private jobs. Apart from this, a Congress government will reserve 50 per cent of the jobs in Panchayati Raj institutions, municipalities, corporations and city councils for them. Women who are widows, disabled or unmarried will get an allowance of Rs 5,100 per month. Pregnant women will get a monthly stipend of Rs 3,100 from the third month of their pregnancy.
Women below poverty line will get Rs 2,000 every month for “chulha kharch”, an allowance meant to offset the “high price” of cooking gas cylinders. There will also be a 50 per cent rebate on house tax if the property is owned by a woman, the Congress said in the manifesto released here. Women will also ride free in Haryana Roadways buses.