Gujarat Assembly Election: Pre-poll promises by AAP and Cong to woo voters, will BJP follow suit?


According to political analysts, parties make big promises because they don’t give anything out of their own pockets and these measures are ultimately funded by taxpayers’ money.

The BJP has so far taken the stance that it is not in the running to give people “freebies” and has warned voters to beware of the AAP’s promises.

The AAP is a relatively new entrant to Gujarat electoral politics, and its entire campaign is rooted in making promises to a broad spectrum of voters to eclipse the BJP and perform robustly in the year-end assembly elections.

Arvind Kejriwal, Chief Minister of Delhi and AAP leader, has launched his party’s campaign to include a range of sops such as 300 units of free electricity per month, free education in government schools, unemployment benefits, 1,000 allowance for women and monthly stipend for new attorneys, among others.

In fact, Kejriwal has given voters at least one new “guarantee” every time he visits Gujarat. In an attempt to checkmate the AAP, Congress has issued its own list of pre-election promises to attract voters and end its long period in opposition.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, speaking at a rally a few days ago during his state visit, promised that his party would give people all the “freebies” offered so far by the AAP. Besides, he also promised to provide LPG bottles 500 (instead of approx 1,000 now), compensation from 4 lakh each to relatives of COVID-19 victims and loan waivers of up to 3 lakh to the farmers.

The AAP has said that Congress should first implement the promises it has made to Gujarat voters in the states where it is in power.

“Rahul Gandhi made many promises in Gujarat when he came here last Monday. Congress should first implement all the promises made in Gujarat in the states they currently rule,” said state AAP spokesman Kaileshdan Gadhvi PTI.

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“The AAP has fulfilled all the promises we made in Delhi and Punjab (states governed by the party),” he said.

Now all eyes are on the BJP and the big question is whether the Safran Group, which has also ruled Gujarat for more than two decades, will join the race for promising “giveaways” to woo voters win, or take a different course. Spoiled for choice, Gujarat voters are eagerly awaiting what the BJP will offer them.

“This time we have the choice to give our vote to those who promise more. The final decision will be difficult due to promises and counter promises made by the parties,” Komal Chidwani, a resident of Ahmedabad, told the news agency PTI. She said she would have to wait for the BJP to publish its manifesto.

“All parties have expanded the carrot of freebies. The BJP has done this in the past. The parties don’t give anything out of their own pockets, so it’s easy for them to make big promises,” said political analyst Hari Desai.

He claimed the BJP and Congress have made promises to voters in the past to win their support. “The BJP says they are giving the poor a free (COVID-19) vaccine and ration. They did it with tax money. When Congress was in power, it waived farm loans and gave many other freebies,” he said.

“Look at the position of the Punjab government under the AAP which has started the race to announce giveaways in Gujarat. They are unable to pay government employees’ salaries (in Punjab) on time,” Desai said. Desai advised voters to be careful not to be “fooled” by campaign promises made by political parties.

“Our parties do not believe in building robust economies at state and national levels. These giveaways are funded with taxpayer money. The thing is, all political parties try to deceive people and they expect to win votes in return,” he said.

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The BJP has so far claimed it is not in the running to give people “freebies” and also advised voters to be wary of the Kejriwal-led party. “Promises from a visitor (Kejriwal) in Gujarat are like Chinese products. How long they will last is a question mark,” BJP President CR Patil has said in the past. The BJP, which is seeking a new term and maintains its iron grip on Gujarat, said its welfare measures are based on the prevailing situation.

“We are not in the race for giveaways. We look at the situation and do our part. As during the pandemic, there was a need to provide free vaccines and we did. It was required to provide free rations (to the poor), so we did it to 800 million people (nationwide) for almost two years,” said BJP state spokesman Yamal Vyas.

He said that despite their long list of campaign promises, the AAP and Congress will not come to power before the election. “Both Congress and the AAP aren’t going to take power in the state, so they’re making extravagant promises. They don’t have to give anything from their pockets, it’s people’s money in the form of taxes that they promise to give to people for free, which is bad economics,” Vyas said.

The AAP has said Congress should first implement the promises it has made to Gujarat voters in the states where it is in power.

“Rahul Gandhi made many promises in Gujarat when he came here last Monday. Congress should first implement all the promises made in Gujarat in the states they currently govern,” said AAP state spokesman Kaileshdan Gadhvi.

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“The AAP has fulfilled all the promises we made in Delhi and Punjab (states governed by the party),” he said. Congress opposed the AAP and said whatever the party had promised in Gujarat, like waiving farm loans up to 3 lakh, has historically been implemented in states governed by it. A system that provides free medical treatment up to 10 lakh to people is already operational in Rajasthan, the party said.

“The AAP is a B-Team of the BJP. The BJP knows they won’t win Gujarat this time and that’s why they brought the AAP here,” said State Congress Speaker Manish Doshi. “Both have failed to deal with the COVID-19 crisis in Gujarat and Delhi The education system in Gujarat and Delhi is pathetic. But the AAP will not leave a mark in these elections,” he said.

During his frequent visits to Gujarat over the past few months, Kejriwal has announced a number of “guarantees” which he will name ahead of the survey. These include free electricity up to 300 units per month, unemployment benefits from 3,000, ten lakh government agencies, free quality health care for all and free education in government schools and Allowance 1,000 for women if AAP comes to power in Gujarat. He has also pledged a farm loan waiver of up to 2 lakh and daily power for irrigation for farmers. Not to be left behind, Congress has fulfilled these AAP promises and added other aids to the list, such as: B. the provision of LPG cylinders 500 and 4 lakh compensation to the families of those who died from COVID-19.

This story was published from a wire agency feed with no changes to the text. Only the headline has been changed.

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