Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday accused the opposition Congress-NCP combine of releasing an unrealistic manifesto in the run-up to the state assembly elections for the sole purpose of winning votes.
"There are only two things that the Congress-NCP alliance has left out of their election manifesto," news agency ANI quoted him as saying at an election rally in Nagpur. "First, that they will build a Taj Mahal for every family, and second, that they will get plots of land on the Moon for every family."
The election manifesto released by the opposition alliance earlier this month promised farmer-centric policies and a monthly allowance of Rs 5,000 for unemployed youth if voted to power in the state. For those already holding jobs, it assured a minimum monthly wage of Rs 21,000.
The document also promised the waiver of property tax on residential properties of up to 500 square feet area in all municipal corporations across the state, besides the reduction of hefty fines prescribed for traffic offenders by the new Motor Vehicles Act. For rural voters, the opposition alliance offered at least 200 days of employment under the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act.
On the health front, the opposition alliance promised a super-specialty hospital for every district. Other promises included zero per cent interest on educational loans and special focus on problems affecting farmers.
The BJP, on the other hand, promised to create 1 crore jobs in the next five years -- taking Maharashtra's economy to USD 1 trillion -- and build houses for every resident by 2022. Another key assurance was the setting up of a separate maintenance department for the national and state highways, where repairs and other works are currently being done by the road construction contractors.
The BJP's manifesto also contained a demand to confer the Bharat Ratna on Hindutva ideologue VD Savarkar. The Congress responded by taking potshots at the BJP, wondering why it was not seeking the country's highest civilian award for Mahatma Gandhi's assassin Nathuram Godse instead.
While the Congress and the NCP had fought the 2014 assembly elections separately, they have joined hands this time round to take on the ruling BJP-Shiv Sena coalition. Maharashtra and Haryana will go to the polls on October 21, and the votes counted three days later.
(With inputs from ANI)