Ahead of the Gujarat elections, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, in an exclusive interview with Network18 Group Editor-in-Chief Rahul Joshi at News18’s ‘Gujarat Adhiveshan’, on Monday said that “giving support to raise the standard of living or make infrastructure is not revadi”.
“Gujarat has people who do analysis. So far, the budget is Rs 2,42,000 crore, but promises worth Rs 3,52,000 crore have been made…Some promises are hilarious. They say they make primary education free. It has been free since 1960. What will you give for free? Do some research…”
Elaborating further, Shah said: “Electricity is not revadi, no bill is a revadi. Giving a house is not a revadi, but keeping it tax-free is a revadi. We make toilets, but don’t carry out the repair work. We gave free ration amid the pandemic because of the lingering slowdown after Covid, which affected the poor. If any section is affected because of a natural calamity, it is the government’s duty to help them. It is not revadi, it is support, raising their standard of living and giving infrastructure is important. That is not revadi.”
When asked if there is a three-way contest, with the Aam Aadmi Party in the fray, he said, “Shankarsinh Waghela, Keshubhai Patel…a lot of them came up with their parties. The people of Gujarat have never accepted the concept of a third party. It is a habit of Gujaratis that they listen to everyone that has to say. And if people get influenced by these sayings, then I have nothing to say, the outcome will speak on its own.”
“The BJP has the blessings from the people of Gujarat. The BJP left no stone unturned for development of Gujarat and has met the expectation of the people of the state. We want to make a safe, well-developed and educated Gujarat with a strong government which we have been doing for years,” said Shah. “We don’t look to break records. We want to expand our ideology and organization. We have won because of the love and support of people. The Congress rule saw no law and order. We changed that.”
The Gujarat assembly elections will be held in two phases on December 1 and 5, while the counting of votes will be conducted on December 8, the Election Commission of India (ECI) had announced, weeks after it announced polls to the 68-seat Himachal Pradesh House.
The term of the 182-member Gujarat assembly ends on February 18 next year. In Gujarat, as per the electoral roll published on October 10, over 4.9 crore electors are registered, of which 4.04 lakh are PwD electors; over 9.8 lakh 80-plus senior citizens and 4.61 lakh first-time voters.
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