Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday claimed that certain ideas presented in the Congress party’s manifesto were “positively dangerous”. The Congress released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections earlier on Tuesday. Its promises included 34 lakh government jobs, income support and universal healthcare.
“Even though there was a drafting committee, it appears that some of the important points have been drafted by the Congress president’s friend in Tukde Tukde gang when it deals with J&K [Jammu and Kashmir],” Jaitley said at a press conference.
Jaitley claimed that the Congress leadership was under the “grip of jihadists and Maoists”. “In their manifesto, they say that section 124-A [sedition] will be removed from IPC, committing treason is no longer a crime,” he said. “The party that makes such announcements is not entitled to a single vote.”
Jaitley said the Congress party’s manifesto has ideas that would divide India. “In this manifesto, there are things which are going to break the country and are against the unity of the country,” Jaitley said. “They are moving on the agenda of the Nehru-Gandhi family’s historic blunder about Jammu and Kashmir.”
Jaitley said “70 years of mistakes” have dragged Jammu and Kashmir to its current situation. “We are establishing rule of law, Congress wants to establish rules of terrorists and insurgents,” he said, adding there was no mention of Kashmiri Pandits in the manifesto.
Jaitley cited Gandhi, who said he never breaks a promise in the manifesto. “When out of ignorance, he makes unimplementable and dangerous promises, I am sure the country will not be in a mood to oblige him,” the minister said, according to News 18.
Jaitley claimed that he had never believed the budget presented by the Congress in the 10 years that the BJP was in the Opposition. “Because I knew that the devil was always in the details,” he said. “You have to read the complete annexures to understand their intent which was never clear... He [Rahul Gandhi] said that ‘we will fill 28 lakh jobs’. The next sentence of [the] Congress manifesto says 20 lakh jobs are of them in state government’. He must at least read what he is saying,” Jaitley said.
Sushma Swaraj claims manifesto will please traitors
Union Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj also hit out at the manifesto promises, claiming they would please “traitors and separatists”, reported PTI. Addressing a BJP women workers’ meet in Nagpur on Tuesday, she said, “It is unfortunate for the country that on one side Prime Minister Narendra Modi is giving a befitting reply to Pakistan’s terror attacks with surgical and air strikes. On the other hand, the Congress president (Rahul Gandhi) is refusing to accept treason as a crime.” The remarks were a reference to the manifesto promise to remove the section of the penal code on sedition.
With regard to the Congress manifesto promise on resolving the crisis in Jammu and Kashmir through dialogue with all stakeholders, Swaraj said that while the Modi government withdrew the security cover given to separatists, the Congress wanted to continue talking to them. The cover was withdrawn following the February 14 Pulwama attack on a Central Reserve Police Force convoy, which killed 40 soldiers. “This is the difference between chowkidar and rajkumar,” she said. “I am confident people will re-elect Modi as PM because they know the nation is safe in his hands.”
Swaraj also accused the Congress of not taking action against Pakistan after the 26/11 terror attacks in Mumbai in 2008. In comparison, she claimed, the Modi government gave the armed forces all the power to retaliate after the Pulwama attack and the September 2016 Uri attacks, in which militants believed to be from Pakistan left 19 soldiers dead. The Pulwama incident was followed by Indian Air Force strikes on a Jaish-e-Mohammed camp in Balakot, Pakistan. The Uri attack was followed by the Indian Army’s strike on “terror launchpads” across the Line of Control, dubbed as the surgical strikes.