In a sharp attack on Congress and CPI-M in Kerala, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely today said the state had been let down by the two parties which relied on politics of ‘vote banks’.
Speaking after releasing the NDA vision document for the May 16 assembly elections in the state here, he also said the BJP has emerged as an alternative to the two parties, which have been ruling the state alternately.
“BJP has become an alternative in Kerala and its vote strength was reflected in the last Parliament and civic body elections,” he said.
Jaitely claimed the domination of Congress and CPI-M in the state was not based on any developmental politics, but on an emphasis to keep certain vote banks with them.
“When you have vote banks based on sectarian appeal, you do not have to relay much on performance,” Jaitely said.
Stating that Kerala should have been one of the most prosperous states in the country going by the assets it has, Jaitely said the economic model created by the Left was not a developmental model.
Congress-led UDF also followed the same line and their domination in politics was with emphasis to keep certain vote banks with them, he said.
“Kerala and West Bengal were the only two major states to face revenue deficit though not geographically disadvantaged,” the finance minister said, adding the common factor in these two states was the rule by the Left front which did not have an economic model.
Kerala and West Bengal were behind due to the Left rule and the ideology which they follow had been abandoned in many parts of the world, he said.
Jaitely said Kerala should make use of the manpower resources in the state itself rather than exporting it. The state should concentrate on development projects in areas like coastline based projects, tourism and plantation.
The NDA Vision Document promises among others land for landless, an housing programme in the name of ‘Sree Narayana Guru’, government jobs to all tribal youths who had passed tenth standard.
It also promises interest free agriculture loan to farmers, a package of Rs 10,000 crore to coastal belt, initiative to set up one lakh small industries and another Rs 10,000 crore package for traditional industries.
Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, State BJP State President Kummanam Rajasekharan, Bharat Dharma Jana Sena President Thushar Vellapally, the second largest partner in the BJP-led NDA, were among those present on the occasion.