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Arun Jaitley slams Congress manifesto, says it is aimed at 'Balkanisation of India'

In a scathing attack on the Congress, the senior BJP leader remarked that the manifesto released by the Congress has imprints of “tukde tukde gang”. 

Arun Jaitley slams Congress manifesto, says it is aimed at 'Balkanisation of India'

Hours after the Congress released its manifesto for upcoming Lok Sabha election, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Tuesday addressed a press conference and slammed the grand old party, accusing it of proposing “Balkanisation of India” in its manifesto.

In a scathing attack on the Congress, the senior BJP leader remarked that the manifesto released by the Congress has imprints of “tukde tukde gang”. “Some of the ideas are positively dangerous in the Congress manifesto. They are for an agenda for the Balkanisation of India,” Jaitley told reporters.

Former Finance Minister P Chidambaram was the head of the committee which prepared the manifesto of the Congress party. “Even though there was a drafting committee, but 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,” Jaitley said.

Jaitley also hit out at the Congress for promising to scrap Indian Penal Code Section 124A, which deals with sedition. “It was not even done by Indira Gandhi, Rajiv Gandhi or even Dr Manmohan Singh government. The Congress manifesto says IPC Section 124A will be scrapped. This means sedition will no longer be a crime. A party that makes such a promise does not deserve a single vote,” said Jaitley.

In its manifesto, the Congress has also promised to review Armed Forces Special Protection Act (AFSPA) for Jammu and Kashmir. The party has said in the manifesto that it will make suitable changes in the text of the laws in order to protect the human rights and balance the requirements of security.

Jaitley also took a potshot at the Congress for promising to review AFSPA and accused the party of going soft on terror. "Rajiv Gandhi got TADA (an anti-terror law that was considered draconian), Narasimha Rao took it back. Manmohan Singh took back POTA," he noted.

The Union Finance Minister stressed that there will be rule of insurgents and terrorists in the country if all the plans of Congress are implemented.

Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi released the party's manifesto - 'Congress will deliver' – with six key ideas: Kaam, Daam, Shaan, Samman, Sushasan and Swabhimaan.

Under Shaan, the Congress promised to increase the spending on defence and expedite modernisation programmes of the Armed Forces, saying it will take steps aimed at reversing the trend of declining defence spending under the BJP-led NDA government.

In its manifesto, the Congress also promised to create the office of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) as principal adviser to the Government on matters relating to defence and provide a statutory basis to the National Security Council (NSC) and the office of National Security Adviser (NSA). 

On internal security, the party said it will establish the National Counter-Terrorism Centre in three months. The party also pledged to make the National Intelligence Grid (NATGRID) operational by December 2019. In other pledges, Congress said that it will focus on job creation and work for the welfare of farmers after coming to power.