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Haryana BJP says its promises ‘doable’, Congress’ ‘unrealistic’

"This is a pragmatic, doable and practical Sankalp Patra," BJP's working president JP Nadda said in Chandigarh, two days after Congress announced major doles.

, ET Bureau|
Updated: Oct 17, 2019, 06.21 PM IST
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Haryana BJP
BJP feels the scrapping of Article 370 in J&K is the biggest ace up its sleeve in Haryana where every family literally has a soldier.
It is the populism versus realism debate in Haryana, much like the 2019 general elections. BJP refused to indulge in competitive populism in its manifesto unveiled on Sunday with an outlay of about Rs 32,000 crore, saying freebies promised by Congress amounting to four times more was ‘unrealistic’.

"This is a pragmatic, doable and practical Sankalp Patra," BJP's working president JP Nadda said in Chandigarh, two days after Congress announced major doles such as a farm loan waiver, an unemployment allowance, hike in monthly old age pension to Rs 5,100, subsidised power and a host of benefits for women such as 33% reservation in all jobs. Meanwhile, BJP did not announce any unemployment allowance. The saffron party said it would raise the monthly old-age pension only up to Rs 3,000 per month and promised no loan waiver but only interest-free loans. BJP, however, did promise smart phones to the "digitally literate" poor, a monthly pension of Rs 3,000 to small farmers and two new ministries to drive self-employment and startups and bring poor outside BPL list in the ambit of government schemes.

"The Congress manifesto needs Rs 1.26 lakh crore...this sort of money can't come in five years. People rejected the NYAY promise of Congress in the Lok Sabha polls realising it was not possible to implement it. Janta hisaab laga leti hai (The public does its calculations)," Chief Minister Manohar Lal said. Another senior BJP leader asked why Congress had not declared to its farm loan waiver limit in Haryana. "Is it up to Rs 50,000, 1 lakh or 2 lakh? It has been kept ambiguous because Congress failed to deliver its loan waiver promise of up to Rs 2 lakh in Madhya Pradesh. Even Jyotiraditya Scindia has criticised that," the BJP leader said. Congress' Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the first cabinet will decide the waiver amount.
Haryana polls

BJP feels the scrapping of Article 370 in J&K is the biggest ace up its sleeve in Haryana where every family literally has a soldier. Article 370 found prominent mention right at the start of the manifesto document. "Hundreds of soldiers from Haryana sacrificed their lives for the integrity of Kashmir, as per the vision of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee. Haryana's people wish to thank the Prime Minister and the home minister for scrapping Article 370 in J&K," the manifesto said. Congress has tried to be on the right side of the debate on Article 370, with Hooda openly backing the move. However, Haryana in-charge of Congress, Ghulam Nabi Azad had criticised the same in the past. "Nothing more needs to be said on it as it is a law now," Azad said in Chandigarh on Friday.

Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja termed BJP's manifesto a"Jumla Patra" and claimed none of the 154 promises made in the 2014 BJP manifesto had been fulfilled. "The public is connecting with the Congress promises in a big way, especially women on whom we have focussed," Selja said. BJP, however, is harping on the question of leadership in the Congress—asking whether Selja or Hooda was its CM face. "Hooda in the Gohana rally last month announced 4 deputy CMs from various communities apparently to woo the non-Jat voters. However, this found no mention in Congress manifesto. Ghulam Nabi Azad said the decision on deputy CMs will be taken by the new CM and the party. So is Hooda not the CM face of Congress?" a senior BJP leader asked.

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