Just as the BJP was pitching the judicious and decisive leadership of their chief ministerial candidate as its single point platform, the party released a manifesto full of fantastical economic projections and claims in an all out attempt to woo voters.
Already delayed by the party’s predilection for astrological considerations, the manifesto remarkably outdistances in tall claims the sop-filled Congress manifesto, which seems modest and achievable in comparison.
Chief amongst them is the pledge to create a million new jobs by 2017, a wild figure that seems to be pulled out of nowhere. Even creating a tenth of those would be an achievement (although these may be in the burgeoning cow urine industry, another BJP priority). By inflating it beyond even the number of unemployed in the state seems like an overkill in preposterousness.
The expectation of 10-12 percent growth at a time when the global economic outlook is so gloomy and the Indian economy is slowing, is also rather strange. At the very least it gambles on an unlikely and extremely optimistic economic scenario rather than erring on the side of caution that a more responsible government would do. That the state will or even can attract ten billion dollars worth of investment in the same time period as noted in the manifesto also seems farfetched, unless the party has a particular enormous golden rabbit to pull out of its hat.
Unfortunately, this platform does seem to be in keeping with the practice of the last five years of making grandiose promises the party knows full well it cannot keep. Incidentally, the text even claims the government has fulfilled every single one of the 206 announcements it had made in the last election which is easily contradicted by the situation on the ground.
Just as the atrocious road situation in the hills contradicts B.C. Khanduri’s record as a road builder, this manifesto likewise eviscerates the party’s gambit in this election of relying on Khanduri’s much hyped reputation of probity and incorruptibility. Cynical election promises are one thing, but delusional math is quite another. Then again, given the reliance on astrological charts for every political decision, it might be too much to expect rational thinking.