Congress spokesperson Abhishek Manu Singhvi Sunday challenged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to contest the Lok Sabha elections from any southern state. He also rubbished claims that Gandhi's decision to contest from Wayanad in Kerala was because of the large population of minorities like Muslim and Christians there and told reporters that 50 per cent of Wayanad's population was Hindu.
"Can Modi dare contest elections from any of the constituencies of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Kerala or Tamil Nadu like Rahul Gandhi did," he questioned. Singhvi also praised the Congress's manifesto for its practicality and verifiability.
Taking a dig at the BJP over its promises ahead of the Lok Sabha polls, he claimed that the Congress's manifesto contained all issues, except "jumlebaazi" (rhetoric) and "fenkubaazi" (making tall claims). "This manifesto is unprecedented in all respects. Such a manifesto has never been made by any party, but it does not have 'jumlebazi' and 'fenkubazi' in it," Singhvi said.
Highlighting its three components of the NYAY scheme, Kisan budget and MNREGA, Singhvi said everything about these schemes is verifiable and the BJP has been unjustifiably raising questions on their practicality. Referring to the BJP's claim of doubling the farmers' income by 2022, the Rajya Sabha MP said agricultural growth has dropped to 1.9 per cent against the 4 per cent under the UPA government.
"It is a cruel joke with farmers. What do you mean by doubling their income as it has already fallen to less than half in BJP rule," Singhvi said, adding that the saffron party knew that it was not coming back and there was no harm in making this claim. He said the BJP government had stated in its 2014 manifesto that food processing clusters would be developed. "But they proceeded so slowly that the policy was framed four years later in 2018 by the BJP government," he said.
About the smart city project, Singhvi claimed the BJP government could spend only 7 per cent of the total budget of Rs 2.03 lakh crore and it was hardly able to turn eight cities out of 100 into smart cities and that too was just on paper.
(With inputs from agencies.)