Double talk or error? Cong's Delhi manifesto and ads differ on key facts

DPCC President Subhash Chopra along with party leaders Anand Sharma and Ajay Maken releases the Congress manifesto for the Delhi Assembly elections, at a press conference Photo: PTI Singh
Take a look at the Congress manifesto. It says if voted to power in Delhi in the upcoming polls, it would spend 25 per cent of the city government’s Budget (each year) on fighting pollution and improving transport. Its campaign advertisement puts the figure at 20 per cent. Not just that. There are a host of other points in which the two differ. The manifesto says the party will ensure each family, including tenants and owners in JJ clusters, get a flat of 350 sq feet at the same place. In the hoardings and other advertising collateral, the party promises 269 sq feet flats. The manifesto promises 15,000 electric buses, but in the ads the figure reads 10,000. On clearing loans of those plying three-wheelers and e-rickshaws, the party's ad says it would write off such loans if voted to power; the manifesto talks about a one-time subsidy to the owners of such vehicles. The manifesto talks about filling language teachers’ vacancies in government schools within 100 days; the advertisement does promise to clear the backlog of 11,000 teachers, including language teachers, but doesn't give a time frame. Is the party serious in its bid for the state?

Akhilesh clutches at straws 

Samajwadi Party (SP) president Akhilesh Yadav would never let go of an opportunity to take a swipe at the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). Now with campaigning in Delhi hitting a crescendo, the former Uttar Pradesh chief minister has attacked BJP leaders over their alleged inflammatory and inappropriate statements during interactions. Yadav, who is known for his strident criticism of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, said the BJP leaders were giving such statements "in desperation" because the party was fast losing its support base in Delhi. While the SP has no stake in the upcoming Delhi polls, any electoral reverses for the BJP in the national capital, which has a sizeable working class population from UP, would be a morale booster for the party that has suffered serious erosion of its appeal in its home state in recent years.

The long and short of it

When Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman began her address at FICCI's post-Budget industry interaction, she said she was not keen on giving a long speech. She had already delivered the longest Budget speech and would be more interested in taking the industry’s feedback, she added. Having said that, she took about 15 minutes to go through her opening address. At the end of it, Sitharaman said, “Though I had said in the beginning that I am not going to do a long one, it’s always a temptation to speak as I have been trained as a spokesperson as well.” The guests burst into peals of laughter.

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