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Day ahead of voting, BJP releases its manifesto out, avoids tall promises

Barely hours to go before the first phase of polling in Gujarat, the BJP on Friday released its manifesto for the state elections with promises for women, farmers and housing for all.

The “sankalp patra” (vision document) carries the photograph of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah with the slogan — “Each Gujarati speaks in a single voice, I am development, I am Gujarat”.

The slogan had been coined by the party to counter Congress’ “Development has gone mad” campaign.

Releasing the manifesto in Ahmedabad, BJP’s Gujarat in-charge Arun Jaitely said that the Congress was making false promises in Gujarat. He said that the promises made by the Congress were neither constitutionally or financially possible to implement.

He claimed that Gujarat has the highest gross state domestic product growth in the country and that in the last five years, Gujarat grew at the average rate of 10 per cent amongst large states.

BJP will not only maintain Gujarat’s growth rate, but would increase it further. If we maintain it at 10 percent during global slowdown, we can increase it further, Mr Jaitley said.

The manifesto avoids making tall promises and focuses on doubling farmers’ income, constructing 50 lakh houses in the next five years, increasing pension for widows at regular intervals and building international level universities.

It also promises to open more generic medicine shops and introduce mobile clinics and laboratories, converting villages into smart villages and making pucca houses.

For urban areas, it promises timely implementation of Smart City projects and construction of multi-level parking lots.

Construction of toilets in every house in rural Gujarat, district-level Tribal Welfare Boards and an Adivasi University, new tourism circuits, development of ports, affordable healthcare for poor workers from the unorganised sector and new hostels for Scheduled Caste students and doubling of grant given to the Thakor and Koli Development Board were some of the other promises.

A total of 89 seats in Saurashtra and South Gujarat would go to polls on December 9 while 93 seats of north and central Gujarat would be held on December 14. Campaigning for the first phase ended Thursday.

Opposition parties, including Congress and the leader like Hardik Patel have taken a dig at the BJP for releasing the manifesto so late.

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