DW BUREAU / CHANDIGARH
With Congress and INLD promising farm loan waiver and other sops in their poll manifestos, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Sunday said freebies will not fetch votes as the opposition parties were facing a “crisis of credibility”. On the other hand, he asserted, the BJP was making “realistic promises” with a right intent.
“Voters are mature and wise. They know about their promises, they know there are limited resources from where the money is to come,” Khattar told reporters after releasing the BJP poll manifesto ? “Mahre Sapno Ka Haryana” ? for the October 21 election.The ruling party’s manifesto promises a slew of measures for farmers, Scheduled Caste members, woman and the youth. It says the party will ensure easy loans to farmers and SC members, free education in government colleges to girls and skill training to 25 lakh youths.
BJP’s national working president J P Nadda, Union ministers Narendra Singh Tomar, R L Kataria and Rao Inderjit Singh, Haryana minister Anil Vij, chairman of manifesto committee O P Dhankar and senior party leader and Rajya Sabha MP Anil Jain were present at the event.
“The opposition is facing crisis of credibility,” Khattar said when asked to comment on the opposition parties promising to waive farm loans and other sops in their manifestos.
“Helping those sections of society who need it are to be helped, but doling freebies for votes, this is not a healthy trend,” he said, targeting the opposition.
He also said that while opposition parties believed in promising freebies, the BJP focussed on “realism” and things that are doable. The Congress was only raising a “loan waiver rant”, he said.
The Congress has promised to write off loans to farmers “within 24 hours” of coming to power in Haryana.
“In Punjab, where they promised loan waiver, they do not have enough money to pay even to their employees, in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, they only gave Rs 50,000 for one instalment (loan waiver),” Khattar said.
“On Saturday, I got a report that to fulfil the promises made by the Congress, an amount of Rs 1.26 lakh crore will be needed as against Rs 32,000 crore which will be needed for our promises, which are realistic,” the chief minister said.
He said at the fag end of his tenure, the previous Bhupinder Singh Hooda government made a slew of promises and announcements “that bureaucrats at that time started saying that these could not be fulfilled even in ten years.” Khattar also hit out at Congress, who in their poll manifesto promised to do away with the minimum qualification criteria for panchayats if voted to power, saying “this shows their regressive mindset.” On poll promises made by BJP in 2014, Khattar said, “We are going to sit in the examination (elections) now and people will pass their judgment”.
“Now, in our manifesto for next five years, we have put forward our vision how we will make Haryana an ‘Adarsh’ or an ideal state. When we talk of ideal state, we talk of Ram Rajya? Our Sankalp Patra is based or inspired by ‘Sarve Bhavantu Sukhinah, Sarve Santu Niramayah’, mantra which means may all become happy and free from illnesses,” he said.
“In our last manifesto, we had promised that we will give a transparent administration and show zero tolerance towards corruption and undertake development without any bias, and we did so. We did value-based politics, we changed meaning of politics in the state, where nepotism, corruption ruled the roost,” he said.
Khattar said that out of 154 poll promises made in 2014, only 10-11 could not be fulfilled during five years, because it involved litigation.
Praising Khattar, Nadda said, “He has changed the image of Haryana, a fundamental change has taken place. He has changed Haryana’s political culture. The image of state earlier was that it was synonymous with corruption and nepotism, but now it is corruption-free and marching on the path of development.” Dhankar said BJP’s manifesto aims to give boost to organic farming over 10 lakh acres.
He said suggestions were taken from a cross-section of people across Haryana to prepare the manifesto and 1.70 lakh people offered their suggestion through