Cong hits back, asks BJP to clear stand

With the BJP alleging violation of model code of conduct and petitioning the Election Commission over the announcement of direct cash transfer scheme, the Congress today asked the Opposition party to clarify its stand on the scheme.

"The EC has asked for clarification. The government will respond appropriately. But the most fundamental and germane question is whether the BJP supports the transfer of cash to beneficiaries or is opposed to it. They should elucidate and clarify where they stand on this issue," said Information & Broadcasting Minister Manish Tewari.

The ruling party's offensive on the issue is driven by BJP's dilemma over what stand to take on a scheme that was originally a part of their 2009 manifesto.

The BJP's manifesto had promised: "The NDA proposes to make it incumbent for every Indian to have a national identity card... Through it, the NDA will ensure efficient welfare delivery and tax collection. The card will also be linked to a bank account. All welfare payments, including widow and old age pensions, through the wide range of schemes such as mother and child support/ kisan credit, students assistance and micro-credit will be channelised through the national identity card," it said.

Meanwhile, asked about the Gujarat BJP's manifesto that promises to build 50 lakh houses for the poor in the next five years, Tewari said, "Your government has been there for the last 10 years. Why didn't you build the houses? Who stopped you from building 50 lakh or 1 crore houses?"

On the BJP's claim that it has created a neo-middle class in Gujarat through its development model, he said, "I think it is bizarre. It is like saying I created the internet."

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