Assembly elections

Gujarat polls: BJP’s performance speaks for itself, says Jaitley as party releases vision document

The manifesto comes just a day before the first phase of Assembly election.

The Bharatiya Janata Party released its manifesto, called a “vision document”, for the Gujarat Assembly elections on Friday, just a day before the state goes to polls. On Saturday, 89 Assembly constituencies will vote in the first phase of the elections. The elections to the remaining 93 will be held on December 14.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the the party did not violate the model code of conduct as the document did not display the photo of any candidate or mention the constituencies that will vote.

Claiming that the Bharatiya Janata Party did not need to make tall promises about “development”, Jaitley said, “BJP’s performance speaks for itself”. He added that Gujarat was the only state in India to have a double digit growth rate in the last five fiscals. “And the average growth rate is 10%,” he said.

The vision document focuses on social and economic growth of Gujarat, Jaitley said. He also criticised the Congress’ election manifesto, and said that many of its promises had already been fulfilled by the government.

The Congress’ vision is based on “constitutional impossibilities and financial improbabilities”, Jaitley said. He added that the Congress’ promise of reservation for Patidars was the party’s attempt at “caste polarisation” in the state.

The Congress and many others have criticised the BJP for releasing the document so late, with many questioning if it would even give voters enough time to read through the entire document and understand it. Many users on Twitter used the hashtags “BJPDisrespectsGujarat” and “BJPKaManifestoKahanHai” to question the ruling party.

On Thursday, Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi had said that the BJP has shown “unbelievable disrespect” to the people of Gujarat. “Campaigning is over and STILL no mention of a manifesto for the people, no vision and no ideas presented for Gujarat’s future,” he said on Twitter.

Congress leaders Randeep Singh Surjewala and Ahmed Patel also criticised the BJP. The Congress had released its manifesto for Gujarat on Tuesday, promising a quota for Patidars among other things.

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