Gujarat campaign: BJP talks terrorism, Congress jobs | india | Hindustan Times
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Gujarat campaign: BJP talks terrorism, Congress jobs

india Updated: Dec 05, 2007 17:07 IST

When they vote in the assembly elections next month, people in Gujarat will have to choose between curbing terrorism and creating jobs if one is to go by the ad campaigns launched by the two main parties.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), looking to retain power in the state, this week released a print media advertisement targeting the Congress, which leads the ruling coalition at the centre, for its allegedly soft approach to terrorism.

"How can they (the Congress) fight terrorism?" says the headline.

"They repealed TADA - Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act - they repealed POTA -Prevention of Terrorist Activities Act -, stopped Gujcoc (Gujarat Control of Organised Crime Bill).

"Bomb explosions and terror strikes continue, but they saved Afzal's life," says the copy, referring to Afzal Guru, who has been sentenced to death for his role in the terror attack on parliament in December 2001. His mercy plea is pending before the president.

The tag line of the BJP campaign, "Jeetega Gujarat" (Gujarat will win), is reflected in another advertisement that says: "There are many reasons to vote for (Chief Minister) Narendra Modi, but the biggest of them is Gujarat."

The opposition Congress, however, alleges that the ruling party has reneged on the many promises it made ahead in the last assembly poll in December 2002 and gives a list of such promises, mainly relating to economy.

"Why are our lives in the dark in Vibrant Gujarat?" says the headline of a print ad released by the Congress, pooh-poohing the annual Vibrant Gujarat series of global investor summits organised by Modi to attract investments in the state's infrastructure sector.

"How did the BJP fail to deliver on the promise of providing jobs to 3.3 million? Millions of youth are jobless, according to the records of the state's employment bureau.

"The state government's own economic review admits that only 3,000 people have been given jobs in the last five years and the employment growth rate has turned negative."

The copy ends with: "We will realise the dreams of the youth, now that the Congress government is coming. Transformation is the only solution, it's only Congress now."

The elections to the 182-member assembly will be held December 11 and December 26 and the votes counted December 23.