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Sure of win, BJP says ‘economic mess’ will be Modi’s first big test

Shekhar Iyer, Hindustantimes.com  New Delhi, January 19, 2014
First Published: 00:56 IST(19/1/2014) | Last Updated: 00:58 IST(19/1/2014)

Top BJP leaders led by Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, and MM Joshi hinted to their prime minister candidate Narendra Modi that he should brace for a tough challenge in his “sure” role as next PM to sort out the “huge economic mess” that will be left behind by the Congress-led UPA.

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Their confidence of a BJP win — apparently not hit even as the Aam Aadmi Party is set to throw its hat into the national ring —, came as they outlined the economic priorities for their next government at the party’s national council ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

The BJP’s priorities include jobs generation, reviving manufacturing and financial sectors, correcting the distress in the agriculture sector, boosting power production and providing more funds for education and healthcare.

Party leaders said BJP’s target will also be to increase the manufacturing share to more than 20% of GDP, slash agricultural credit, promote organic farming, create farmers’ market, usher in the right to health with better care, and transparent policy for allocation of natural resources.
BJP president Rajnath Singh, who opened the conclave, said, “The Indian success story isn’t over. It is waiting for the BJP to come to power under Modi.”

Taking a Lok Sabha win for granted, Jaitley told Modi: “Looks like you will have a big challenge on hand when you assume the new responsibility...That is because the economic mess is huge. It (the UPA) was a wasted decade in which the country saw the decline of all sectors, be it education, health, economy, politics or governance.”

Joshi said, “The entire governance set-up has collapsed. Not a single sector is untouched by the Congress’ methods... there is corruption even in jails. A big responsibility awaits you.”

Jaitley also took a jibe at Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, who a day earlier had accused the BJP of marketing itself well and that it could “sell a comb to even a bald person.”

Jaitley said, “There is a third political force that seeks commission in even the selling of such a comb and it is because of this force of corruption that has brought the Indian economy to this level.”

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