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UP polls: Congress slams BJP for populist manifesto

New Delhi, Fri, 27 Jan 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Jan 27 (ANI): The Congress Party on Friday slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for doling out a populist manifesto ahead of the Uttar Pradesh assembly polls.


Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi lashed out at the BJP for promising to appoint a strong Lokayukta in Uttar Pradesh, while in Gujarat it is struggling over the same issue.


He further said the BJP is well known for making tall promises, but is not good at keeping them.


"They did not let a state ombudsman take charge in Gujarat for eight years. The High Court has given a verdict against them. The state chief minister (Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi) does not want that an ombudsman should be there. How can people of this country trust them?" Alvi told reporters here.


"As per the (promise of) unemployment allowance, the Bharatiya Janata Party knows it very well that they cannot even think of forming a government in Uttar Pradesh and since they are well aware of this fact and that is why they can make any promise. What is the harm in promising something? It is an old habit of the Bharatiya Janata Party," he added.


The BJP has stressed on employment and education in its manifesto. It has promised to provide five lakh jobs and an allowance of Rs. 18,000 for the unemployed youth of the state.


Meanwhile, Alvi condemned the BJP's opposition to Muslim quota and clarified that the step is not based on religion, but rather based on issue of the upliftment of backward communities.


"If they have promised such a thing in their manifesto then it is not a good thing. Until the backward sections in the country are not brought into the mainstream, the country cannot progress," said Alvi.


"We do not see the reservation in terms of religion. We try to see it on the basis of which is backward and needy. This reservation is also not on the basis of religion," he added.


The BJP, which came up with its manifesto for Uttar Pradesh earlier in the day, pposed 4.5 percent reservation to minorities from the 27 percent quota of backward classes even as it said it was committed to the construction of a Ram Temple at Ayodhya.


Senior BJP leaders Uma Bharti, Surya Pratap Shahi, Kalraj Mishra, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi released the party's manifesto in Lucknow.


Uttar Pradesh polls are being viewed as an opportunity for major parties to re-establish their foothold in the country's fifth largest and most populous state.


Polls in Uttar Pradesh are to be conducted in seven phases between February 8 and March 3. The counting of votes would take place on March 6.


Uttar Pradesh will elect a new 403-member state assembly in March, and the poll results are expected to broadly indicate trends for the 2014 general elections. (ANI)


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