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Congress woos Gujaratis with free laptops, 16 pledges

December 04, 2012 19:00 IST

Terming Chief Minister Narendra Modi's claims of impressive development as 'blatant lies' and 'misleading', the Congress on Tuesday released its poll manifesto promising 'real development along with safety' if it is voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections.

The release of the Congress poll manifesto comes close on the heels of Modi's release of the BJP's election manifesto on Sunday.

The Congress manifesto promises a slew of measures which it said, would ensure development of common people, and not merely a few industrialists, by providing plots of 100 square yards and houses at cheaper rates to rural as well as urban women respectively, under an 'own your own house scheme'.

The manifesto has promised free tablets to class 10 and class 12 students, besides free laptops to all college students.

"The manner in which the BJP government is carrying it out, can this be called economic development? The result of such an ill-fated economic policy has proved disastrous for the people of Gujarat," Gujarat Congress president Arjun Modhwadia said in Ahmedabad while releasing the party's manifesto.

"The BJP has used vulgar propaganda, communalism and blatant lies to hide its failures, but we pledge today that we will bring real development along with the safety and security of people," he said.

"If voted to power, the Congress will provide real development in the state, will re-establish the rights of the people which this BJP government has snatched away and provide safety to the people," he said.

Incidentally, the Congress manifesto has been named as 'the blueprint of Gujarat's future 2012-2017', whereas Modi had termed his party's manifesto as, "the blueprint for development of all sections of society".

The Congress has termed its 16-point poll manifesto as "16 pledges to the people of the state".

"Out of all these pledges included in this manifesto, there is not a single one which we cannot fulfil," Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dixit, who was specially invited to Gujarat, said while releasing the Congress poll manifesto.

Besides including all 12 points of its 'Gujarat Development Vision 2012', which the Congress had released during regular intervals during the past two months, the manifesto has also promised to bring about financial discipline in the state administration.

"The BJP government has made a total mess of the state finances during the last 10 years. Reckless and irresponsible expenses have increased debt," Modhwadia alleged.

"The Congress will review the situation immediately and a finance commission will be set up to strengthen the financial situation," he said.

The Congress poll manifesto has promised to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products, guaranteed employment to educated unemployed along with skilled-based training, as well as 16 hours of uninterrupted electricity connections to farmers.

It also promised the benefits of the Sixth Pay Commission to all state government employees, subsidised nutritionally rich food for the needy, free life-saving medicines and drugs, besides free treatment for cancer as well as kidney and heart diseases.

Other poll promises include free solar powered street lights in 18,000 villages and irrigation to 18 lakh hectares of land.

"There is 33 per cent reservation for women in local self-government bodies at present. We pledge to bring 50 per cent reservation for women in all local bodies of self governance," Modhwadia claimed.


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