Published On: Mon, Apr 8th, 2019

Schemes in Cong manifesto based on taxing middle class, says Union Minister Puri

Hyderabad: Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Monday alleged that the Congress manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections makes no reference to the middle class and the schemes proposed by the party are based on taxing them.

Union minister and BJP leader Hardeep Singh Puri with party leader Syed Shahnawaz Hussain and other leaders addresses the media in Hyderabad today.

“One, there is no reference to the middle class in the Congress manifesto and after that, they want the middle classes to be taxed,” he told reporters here.

The minister of state for housing and urban affairs alleged that a Congress economists had stated that resources to implement the party schemes like increasing educational and health expenditure would come by taxing the middle class.

On the other hand, the BJP’s manifesto released Monday dwelt on making the country achieve rapid progress and help the middle class grow, Puri, who was here to campaign for the party, said.

Puri claimed that the economy would be a USD 10 trillion economy by around 2030, with a massive reduction in poverty.

He also said there was a fundamental difference between the Congress manifesto and BJP’s ‘Sankalp Patra’ (document of resolve.

“What we are promising, it is within existing resources by reducing taxation. Whatever scheme they want to bring, it is by increasing taxation,” he said.

The BJP went to the people with a positive agenda in the polls, he said. “There is pro-incumbency about the NDA government”, he said.

Asked about opposition criticism that enough jobs had not been created, he cited a CII report which said between 13 million and 15 million jobs have been created annually in the last five years.

“It is not possible to build roads and ports, for civil aviation to grow at 22 per cent, build more airports without creating jobs.

He said the largest sector for employment in the country was agriculture, followed by the construction and the third, ‘hypothetically,’ textiles,all of them in the informal sector.

“So you don’t have a problem of jobs. You have a problem of data. The data… you don’t have the capacity just now to map that. Now that is a fundamental change that takes place in an economy. Does it mean you are not growing? Yes, you are growing, but you are not able to capture it,” he said.

When told that veteran leaders L K Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi were not seen at the BJP manifesto release, he said the party respects its elders and that they occupy a very important position, not only in the party, but in the Sangh Parivar.

“Whether BJP should have a cut-off date of 75 years or not is a decision for the party to take.But let me assure you that the entire party, including Advanji and Murli Manohar Joshiji, are fully on board on this. Please do not fall for the propaganda and misleading of others…,” he said.

BJP president Amit Shah had said on April 4 that it was his party’s decision not to give Lok Sabha poll tickets to those above 75 years of age, leading to veteran leaders like Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi missing out.

On national security, Puri said there was a difference between earlier responses to terror attacks and now under the Modi government.

At the time of the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks, the then Manmohan Singh government had said a solution can be found through talks as both India and Pakistan are nuclear weapon states, he said.

He alleged that the then government defined the strategic restraint doctrine in such a way that the country would not be able to reply if Pakistan attacked the nation.

“But the Modi government changed the ground rules,” he said.

Senior BJP leader Shahnawaz Hussain, who was also present, said that based on the feeback he had from visiting various states, he could confidently assert that Modi would be Prime Minister again.

He said a false perception had been made during the Telangana asseembly polls last year of a tie up between BJP and TRS.

“Where (AIMIM president Asaduddin Owaisi) Owaisi is there, BJP cannot be there,” Hussain said.

He alleged that the Owaisi brothers and Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi seemed to be increasingly having an influence on TRS Chief K Chandrasekhar Rao, evident in the language the latter was using to attack Modi

“From the language used by Rao, it appears that the influence of Owaisi, his brother Akbaruddin Owaisi and Congress president Rahul Gandhi is there on him, he claimed.

BJP has emerged as an alternative party in the Lok Sabha polls in Telangana, Hussain said.


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