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    The Newshour Debate: The manifesto wars (Part 1 of 2)


    by TimesNow

    In a debate moderated by TIMES NOW's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, panelists -- Jaynarayan Vyas, Minister for Health & Family Welfare & Spokesperson, Govt of Gujarat; G V L Narasimha Rao, Member, Electoral Reforms Committee, BJP; Praveen Rashtrapal, MP, RS, Congress, and Amee Yajnik, Spokesperson, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee -- discuss BJP and Congress' election manifestos.

    Terming Guj CM Narendra Modi's claims of impressive development as 'blatant lies' and 'misleading', the Congress today (Dec 4) released its poll manifesto promising 'real development along with safety' if it is voted to power in the upcoming assembly elections. The release of the Congress poll manifesto comes close on the heels of Modi's release of the BJP's election manifesto on Dec 2. The Congress manifesto promises a slew of measures which it said, would ensure development of common people, and not merely a few industrialists, by providing plots of 100 square yards and houses at cheaper rates to rural as well as urban women respectively, under an 'own your own house scheme'. The manifesto has promised free tablets to class 10 and class 12 students, besides free laptops to all college students. Incidentally, the Cong manifesto has been named as 'the blueprint of Gujarat's future 2012-2017', whereas Modi had termed his party's manifesto as, "the blueprint for development of all sections of society". The Cong has termed its 16-point poll manifesto as "16 pledges to the people of the state". Besides including all 12 points of its 'Gujarat Development Vision 2012', which the Cong had released during regular intervals during the past two months, the manifesto has also promised to bring about financial discipline in the state administration. The Cong poll manifesto has promised to reduce Value Added Tax (VAT) on petroleum products, guaranteed employment to educated unemployed along with ski lled-based training, as well as 16 hours of uninterrupted electricity connections to farmers. It also promised the benefits of the 6th Pay Commission to all state govt employees, subsidised nutritionally rich food for the needy, free life-saving medicines and drugs, besides free treatment for cancer as well as kidney and heart diseases. Other poll promises include free solar powered street lights in 18,000 villages and irrigation to 18 lakh hectares of land.