In first reactions to the Congress manifesto by the BJP, Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday called it “dangerous and unimplementable” and said the party does not deserve a single vote for promises such as doing away with the sedition law.
Jaitley also lashed out at the Congress over its implementation of farm loan waivers in states where it is in power, calling it “tokenism”, and said important points related to J&K were drafted by Congress chief Rahul Gandhi’s friends in ‘Tukde Tukde’ gang.
Congress manifesto: The manifesto promises to fill the four lakh vacancies in the Central government, Central Public Sector Enterprises, Judiciary, and Parliament by March 2020. As a condition for devolution of funds to the healthcare and education sectors and to Panchayats and Municipalities, Congress will request states to fill all vacancies, estimated at 20 lakh, in the two sectors, and in local bodies.
Arun Jaitley: Rahul Gandhi said that we will fill 28 lakh jobs. The next sentence of Congress manifesto says 20 lakh jobs are of them in state government. He must at least read what he is saying.
On sedition law:
Congress manifesto: The manifesto said it will omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (that defines the offence of ‘sedition’) “that has been misused and, in any event, has become redundant because of subsequent laws.”
Arun Jaitley: The Congress’ leadership today is in the grip of jihadists and Maoists. They are saying in the manifesto that section 124-A will be removed from IPC, committing treason is no longer a crime.
On Jammu and Kashmir:
Congress manifesto: The party proposed to reduce the presence of the Indian Army and Central Armed Police Forces (CAPFs) in the Kashmir Valley and added that the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in Jammu and Kashmir will be reviewed.
Arun Jaitley: By trying to amend AFSPA they want to encourage the stone pelters in Jammu and Kashmir. 70 years of mistakes have dragged Jammu and Kashmir to where it is today. We are establishing the rule of law, Congress wants to establish rules of terrorists and insurgents
On Goods and Service Tax
Congress manifesto: The party said it will radically simplify the GST regime with a single moderate rate of tax, zero-rating of exports, and exemption for essential goods and services.
Arun Jaitley: Will the poor man pay the same tax for clothing, slippers, and air conditioners? The promises that are made make no sense.