The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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BJP spells out Congress ‘sins’

Jaipur, July 16: The BJP has identified “eight paaps (sins)” common to all Congress-ruled states, which the party will highlight in the run-up to the Assembly elections due later this year.

Party spokesperson Prakash Jawadekar spelt out the “sins” at a news conference here today.

All the 15 states where the Congress is in power suffer from rising debt burdens, decreasing job opportunities, failure to create additional jobs, financial mismanagement leading to increase in fiscal deficit and repayment problems, he said. Undeclared cuts in the plan size, officially within 10 per cent but between 25 and 50 per cent of the outlay in reality, is also a common problem in the states, the spokesperson said.

The other “sins” in the Congress regimes, Jawadekar said, included going back on election promises, rising atrocities on the weaker sections, including women and Dalits, and poverty-related suicides by peasants.

Jawadekar was here for a meeting of the media cell of the state unit of the party, attended by, among others, party general secretary in charge of elections Pramod Mahajan and Union information and broadcasting minister Ravi Shankar Prasad. The meeting was aimed at working out a strategy to launch an offensive against the Congress through the media.

Jawadekar was defensive when pointed out that even the Centre had a hand in “sins” like rising debt burden and decreasing job opportunities. He later said the debt burden on the BJP-led central government was increasing at a lower rate than the Congress-ruled states.

When pointed out that the Centre had pressured the states to enter into memoranda of understanding with the Union finance ministry to cut jobs in the states as part of fiscal reforms, the BJP spokesperson said by “jobs”, he did not mean those in the government sector.

Referring to the Congress’ decision at the Shimla conclave to project Sonia Gandhi as its prime ministerial candidate even if it entered into coalition, he said the decision made it clear that “it will be Atal versus Sonia in the next election”.

Jawadekar said the BJP had led the NDA successfully. He added that it had finally dawned on the Congress that it could not form a government on its own and coalitions were a political reality.

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