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Battle of the manifestoes

Sibal calls BJP manifesto a “tale”; Jaitley counters by saying the govt and the CM are in love with themselves and their work, HT correspondent reports.See full coverage.

delhi Updated: Nov 20, 2008 02:23 IST
HT Correspondent

The war of words between the Congress and the BJP intensified.

A day after the BJP released its manifesto, Union Minister of Science and Technology Kapil Sibal called it “merely a tale”.

“It is more focused on the Congress. They are making a lot of tall claims, but how about actually listing what they have done for the city when in power? A manifesto is supposed to be your statement of purpose,” he said.

He said the BJP was politicising the issue of terrorism. “Terror attacks happen regardless of which party is in power. The media and the BJP should not politicise this. Advani and Rajnath Singh should not use such words,” said Sibal.

Sibal also confronted the BJP on the statehood issue. He said the BJP had tabled the issue of full statehood for Delhi in front of the Parliament, but later withdrew it. “The BJP should be asked why they withdrew it? We have learnt from experience that in a place like Delhi you cannot have two governments,” he said.

Comparing the achievements of Delhi with the BJP ruled-states, Sibal said growth in different sectors showed that Delhi was in fact “an ideal state”.

Sibal also took a dig at the BJP for its last minute selection of Vijay Kumar Malhotra as the chief ministerial candidate. “Malhotra was never made a cabinet minister or minister of state. Why have they (BJP) made him the chief ministerial candidate for Delhi, it is very surprising,” said Sibal.

Meanwhile, criticising the Congress manifesto, BJP general secretary Arun Jaitley said the document was proof of how the party was “living in denial”.

“The incumbent government and the incumbent chief minister have a tendency to fall in love with themselves and their work. The Congress is tom-tomming its own achievements at a time when the average Delhiite is feeling harassed on every count, be it rising prices of essential commodities, shortage of water, costly power or urban chaos,” he said.

He said even when international crude oil prices were falling, the Central government was not doing anything. “At a time when countries worldwide are going through a recession, the government should have looked at generating more economic activity in the country. But the government is just not bothered,” he Jaitley.

The leader also came down on the Congress for failing to provide succor to people on the water and power front.

The BJP leader said that Congress is running away from a political debate. “The Congress responsible for the urban chaos in the Capital. There is no system in place to manage traffic.

On unauthorised colonies, he said the government had failed to regularise colonies despite the fact that the Congress was in power both in Delhi and the Centre.