In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Meenakshi Lekhi, Mahila Morcha Natl VP, BJP; Jaynarayan Vyas, Min for Health & Family Welfare & Spokesperson, Govt of Gujarat; Amee Yagnik, Spokesperson, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee; Dr Bhalchandra Mungekar, MP, RS, Congress; Gagan Sethi, Chairperson, Jan Vikas & Centre for Social Justice; and Jagruti Pandya, Candidate, Gujarat Parivartan Party & Wife of Late BJP Leader Haren Pandya -- discuss the issue whether Narendra Modi's claims on development completely contradiction-proof, and whether over Modi has been able to put 2002 in the background while pushing the development line.
Gujarat CM Narendra Modi on Mon (Dec 3) released the BJP's election manifesto that promises a slew of measures for the uplift of farmers, rural and urban poor and all-inclusive growth. Releasing the manifesto just 10 days ahead of the 1st phase of polling scheduled on Dec 13, Modi also promised to address the issues facing the "neo-middle class", which has risen above the poverty line but cannot yet be categorised as middle class, to enable it reap the benefits of Govt's welfare schemes. The manifesto pledged to strengthen agricultural infrastructure and said, if voted to power again, the Govt would bear 3% of the 7% interest paid by farmers who took agricultural loans. In an apparent bid to counter the Congress' poll assurance of providing land and houses at affordable rates to rural and urban poor respectively, the BJP manifesto said 50 lakh new houses would be constructed for them over the next 5 years. Laying emphasis on irrigation and issues related to farmers, the document said 16 lakh hectares of farm land would be brought under irrigation over the next five years and the government would expedite electricity connections. To give a fresh impetus to the agriculture sector, Modi said cold storage facilities and agro-processing units would be set up in every district. Claiming that annual Vibrant Gujarat Summits aimed at attracting investment for industries were a big success, Modi said now other states were also organising such events. The document said a Right to Services Act would be put in place on the lines of the law enacted by BJP Govt in MP to guarantee time-bound delivery of services.