New Delhi: Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday slammed the Congress party manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha polls, alleging that some of the ideas in it are “positively dangerous” and are an agenda for the “balkanisation” of India.
Addressing the media here, he also lashed out at the Congress for promising in its manifesto to amend the Armed Force (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA), if voted to power, and said that the party has made the document to “save terrorists and Maoists.”
“This manifesto has ideas which will divide India. Some of the ideas are positively dangerous in the Congress manifesto. They are for an agenda for the Balkanisation of India,” he said.
Jaitley said, “Even though there was a drafting committee, it appears that some of the important points have been drafted by the Congress president’s friend in ‘Tukde, Tukde gang’ when it deals with Jammu and Kashmir.”
Attacking Rahul Gandhi, he claimed that the Congress leader has made promises out of ignorance.
“When out of ignorance, Rahul Gandhi makes unimplementable and dangerous promises, I am sure the country will not be in a mood to oblige him,” he said.
The Finance Minister also pointed out that the Congress manifesto has not made a mention of the displaced Kashmiri Pandits.
“Seventy years of mistakes have dragged Jammu and Kashmir to where it is today. We are establishing the rule of law, while the Congress wants to establish the rule of terrorists and insurgents,” he said.
“The country cannot forget the historic mistake committed by the Nehru-Gandhi, and they are trying to continue that agenda. Moreover, there is no mention of displaced Kashmiri Pandits in the Congress manifesto,” Jaitley said.
He said that while his party has been fighting terrorism, the Congress today talks about removing the sedition law. “It has been their tradition to withdraw laws like The Prevention of Terrorism Act (POTA) and the Terrorist and Disruptive Activities (Prevention) Act (TADA),” he said.
“We have been fighting terrorism for the last 72 years. We actively began fighting terrorism after 26/11. We have been successful in curbing anti-India protests in Jammu and Kashmir, Punjab and south India. But, today they want to remove the sedition law,” he said.
“As per their manifesto, they will remove Section 124-A of the IPC, a provision that Nehru, Indira, Rajiv Gandhi, and even Manmohan Singh didn’t dare touch. They say sedition would be done away with, that treason won’t be a crime anymore. People who say such things have no right to get one vote from this country,” the Minister said.
Moreover, the Minister claimed that the Congress manifesto aims to bring the law of insurgency. “The manifesto says the presence of troops in Kashmir will be reduced. Do they want to allow stone pelting? Instead of the rule of law, will there be a rule of the insurgency,” he asked.
Jaitley opined that cleansing of Kashmiri Pandits was the biggest ethnic cleansing. “Displacement of Kashmiri Pandits from the valley was the biggest ethnic cleansing under secularism and also a big tragedy and Congress has not even one tear to shed.”
He alleged that the Congress wants to change the law of bail and as per their election manifesto not giving bail will be considered as the violation of the statute.
“They want to make changes in the CrPC. They want to change the way in which the law of bail functions. Now not granting bail will be considered as a violation of the law. The provision will make the bail a right. So even a terrorist can get away with the bail,” he said.
“The Congress party has claimed to amend AFSPA. The area in which AFSPA is imposed one needs to get a sanction to register a criminal complaint against security personnel, but the manifesto says that will not be needed. It says the investigation will be carried out against army officials without any sanction,” he said.
“In Kashmir, 1,799 complaints were filed against officers. 1,741 were probed, despite AFSPA. The action was taken against 68 officers. On one side RG says if allegations are levelled against soldiers at the behest of terrorists, there will be no immunity. They have made a manifesto which will save the terrorists and Maoists,” Jaitley said.
Sharpening his attack on the Congress chief, he said, “Rahul Gandhi stated that we will fill 28 lakh jobs. The next sentence of the Congress manifesto says 20 lakh jobs are in the state governments. He must at least read what he is saying.”
Slamming the party’s NYAY scheme, he said, “The Congress party on the first day of announcing the scheme did not reveal that the NYAY will be a collective scheme of the Centre and the states. I have come to know some bits about it today. This will not be a scheme by the Central government but will also get some resources from the states. Such schemes are floated when you know you are not coming in power.”
Attacking senior Congress leader P Chidambaram, he said, “Whatever Chidambaram drafts devil will always be in detail. They have made it a merit-based scheme, bluff scheme.”