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Narendra Modi releases manifesto for Guj polls

Last updated on: December 3, 2012 19:12 IST

Image: Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
Photographs: Reuben N V Prasanna D Zore in Ahmedabad

The Gujarat Bharatiya Janata Party led by Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Monday released the party manifesto with an eye on the 2014 general elections and likely elevation of Modi as the prime minister, promised to create a new vote bank of the 'neo-middle class'. Prasanna D Zore reports.

The 82-page Gujarati booklet accompanied with a four-page English handout highlighting programmes for the next five years has Narendra Modi written all over it -- scale, skill and speed. (...

Modi releases manifesto for Guj polls

Image: BJP leaders Purshottam Rupala, Arun Jaitley, R C Faldu, Narendra Modi and Saurabh Patel
Photographs: Reuben N V

As for his imperiousness, he ignored uncomfortable questions related to the creation of the neo-middle class. When one journalist observed that the emergence of the neo-middle class is a national phenomenon and not just Gujarat-related, Modi said, "Thank you for your information," and looked the other way.

The BJP manifesto, that was released around noon on Monday was attended by Modi's Cabinet colleagues -- Purshottam Rupala, Saurabh Patel, state BJP president R C Faldu and senior party leader Arun Jaitley.

The Rs 3 lakh-crore roadmap has something for all the sections of Gujarat: the farmers, women, industries, investors, youth, senior citizens, health sector, housing sector and the Scheduled Castes.

Taking a jibe at his opponents, Modi said that the BJP takes its manifesto very seriously. "For us, our manifesto is a commitment; not empty promises," he said.

Of all the promises made in the manifesto, the most ambitious is the 'construction of 50 lakh houses with all basic amenities', Modi said. Out of these 28 lakh houses will be constructed in rural areas and 22 lakh in urban areas, he added.


Modi releases manifesto for Guj polls

Image: Narendra Modi
Photographs: Reuben N V

Interestingly, assuming the scale, ambitiousness and politically-sensitive nature of this promise, Modi himself will head a dedicated department to setup and implement this scheme under Mukhya Mantri Gruh Samrddhi Yojana.

In five years, this scheme will cost Rs 33,000 crore to the exchequer, the financial allocation which has already been earmarked, states the manifesto. Released in Gujarati, the BJP distributed the highlights of the party manifesto in a four-page English handout separately.

Stressing on the importance of the textile sector in producing employment on a large scale, second only to agriculture, Modi said his government will strive to make Gujarat the textile capital of India.

The manifesto also focuses on enhancing skills of the youth in Gujarat and in this regard plans to create 2.5 crore strong 'skilled young work force' by establishing a Skill Development Corporation, a Skill Development University and a Centre of Excellence.


Modi releases manifesto for Guj polls

Image: State unit BJP president R C Faldu with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi
Photographs: Reuben N V

Terming the party's manifesto as 'all-encompassing', Modi said because if the development schemes initiated by BJP-led governments in the last 10 years, a new section, which he called as the neo-middle class has emerged and his party will create special schemes to cater to this section that once belonged to the poor class.

He said the party will soon define who will fall under the 'neo-middle class' category. When asked Modi about the special emphasis the party manifesto was giving this category, and if the BJP was creating a new national vote bank, the Gujarat chief minister replied in Gujarati, 'Aa sankalp sarva-vyapi chhe, sarva-sparshi-chhe, sarva-sukhdayi chhe, aa savna maate chhe, matlab 6 crore gujaratiyon maate chhe (Our manifesto is all encompassing, touches lives of all the people of Gujarat, will benefit all, is for everybody, meaning, it is for the six crore people of Gujarat)."

"For us it is a matter of pride that such a large section of Gujarat has come out from the grip of poverty," he added.

Tags: BJP , Modi , Gujarat , Guj , Gujarati

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