New Delhi: Calling it ‘dangerous and unimplementable’, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday came down heavily on Congress’ manifesto for Lok Sabha elections 2019 and said that it (manifesto) was an agenda for balkanisation of India. Addressing a press conference after the grand old party released its manifesto for Lok Sabha elections 2019, Jaitley said,” If you see the 35th page of the manifesto, in point 30, there will be review of rules, regulations. How can sedition not be a crime for Congress? They say sedition would be done away with and treason won’t be a crime anymore. Such party does not deserve a single vote.”
Notably, the Congress party has promised to omit, amend certain laws, rules and regulation including Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and section 124A of Indian Penal Code, that defines sedition.
Taking potshots at Rahul Gandhi, Jaitley further said,”Even though there was a drafting committee, it seems some of the points in the documents have been drafted by the Congress Presidents friends in ‘tukde tukde’ gang when it deals with Jammu & Kashmir.” He added,”They (Congress) want martyr status for jawans, now they want cases against them. Those who laid their lives for the nation, you want them to be prosecuted at behest of relatives of terrorists? It has been Congress’s history – Rajiv Gandhi brought in TADA, Narasimha Rao rolled it back; Vajpayee ji brought in #POTA but Manmohan Singh rolled it back.”
Talking about NYAY scheme under which Congress party has promised to provide Rs 72000 to 20 per cent of India’s poorest families every year, Jaitley said,”I was reading the manifesto in detail, and wondering how will Congress arrange for funds for Nyay Scheme? Some economists say taxes will be increased and new ones will be levied. We have decreased taxes in last 5 years.”
He claimed,”Suggestions like Nyay Scheme are given only when the proponents know that these can’t be implemented. NYAY is nothing more than a bluff. They are making promises which it can’t deliver.”
Earlier in the day, Congress president Rahul Gandhi and top party leaders Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh released manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2019. Titled ‘Hum Nibhayenge’ or ‘Will Deliver’, the 53-page manifesto promised good governance, freedom from indebtedness to farmers, protecting existing jobs while creating new ones and implementing anti-corruption laws without bias.
Besides, the Congress also promised to launch MGNREGA 3.0 to address issues of water security, soil quality and similar issues that aggravate farmers’ distress. “To this end, we will increase the guaranteed days of employment up to 150 days in cases where 100 days have been achieved in a block/district; and use MGNREGA labour in the Waterbodies Restoration Mission and the Wasteland Regeneration Mission,” the manifesto said. For North East states, the party promised to restore the special category status and industrial policy.
The Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23 and the results will be declared on same day.