Gujarat was well developed even before BJP rule: PM

April 26th, 2009 - 7:04 pm ICT by IANS  

Manmohan Singh Ahmedabad, April 26 (IANS) Prime Minister Manmohan Singh Sunday took a dig at the Bharatiya Janata Party government in Gujarat for taking credit for the state’s economic development, and said Gujarat had been considered well developed even before the BJP came to power.
“There is no need for the BJP to keep talking in public forums about Gujarat’s development during its rule as the state was considered developed well before the party came to power in Gujarat,” Manmohan Singh told an election rally at the Sankar Kendra in Paldi area here.

This was the prime minister’s first election meeting in Gujarat ahead of the April 30 polling in the state.

The prime minister said the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had given sufficient attention to Gujarat.

The Narendra Modi government has claimed credit for the industrial development and continued foreign investments in the state, but the Congress argues that Gujarat had been at the forefront of economic progress well before the BJP came to power in the mid-1990s.

“The state now has an Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) and other centrally funded educational institutions,” he pointed out.

Referring to the India-US nuclear agreement, Manmohan Singh said his government had signed the deal to generate more electricity and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) had been opposing it without looking into its merits.

Criticising the main opposition, he referred to the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate L.K. Advani’s statement promising to raise the income tax limit to Rs.300,000 lakh if the NDA was voted to power. The prime minister said the NDA could not raise the income tax limit to that amount when it was in power.

He said the UPA government had gone for sweeping tax reforms, not only raising the income tax limit for a large category of taxpayers but also for senior citizens.

He also listed the achievements of his government, including the loan waiver worth Rs.71,000 crore for distressed farmers.

The meeting was briefly disrupted when a young man, identified as Hitesh Chauhan, flung a shoe towards the podium though it missed the prime minister by several feet. He was whisked away by security personnel and the prime minister continued his speech in Hindi.

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