NEW DELHI: Hours after Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced a new electoral promise of providing Rs 72,000 annually to five crore families if voted to power, the BJP on Monday fielded its vocal leader and Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to counter the same and expose the opposition party's "chhal kapat (bluff)".
"Congress party has a history of using poverty and schemes for poverty alleviation for political gains," Mr Jaitley told reporters at the party headquarters here.
"The Congress never had a history of fighting poverty, nor they had any legacy of providing funds to eradicate poverty.
In the name of schemes, there have been only "chhal kapat (bluff)," he said adding right from the Nehruvian era India's growth rate was hardly 3.5 per cent.
"It was an economic model that used to be mocked by the world and called 'Hindu rate of growth'. There was hardly any attempt to fight poverty. Indira Gandhi won the 1971 elections with that 'remove poverty' slogan. But no funds were provided to run the schemes. There was no method of generation of wealth," he said.
"Indira Gandhi did not believe in increased productivity. She did not believe in generation of wealth, she only believed in redistribution of poverty," said Mr Jaitley, who is also the chairman of BJP publicity committee for the general elections.
Earlier in a series of tweets, Finance Minister said - "No political party has betrayed India for more than seven decades other than the Congress Party. It gave people of India slogans and very little resources to implement them".
In contrast, Mr Jaitley maintained that the government headed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has already given the poor what Congress promises and precisely more than what Mr Gandhi has stated.
Mr Jaitley further said during the 10 years of UPA rule also, a policy of 'bluff' guided economic policy of the erstwhile Manmohan Singh regime.
"Dhoka. Bluff hota tha," he said pointing at the loan waiver scheme of 2008.
"The Congress promised loan waiver of Rs 70,000 crore farm waiver scheme. In contrast look at NDA regime, under PM-Kisan, the NDA government will give Rs 75,000 crore every year," he said.
Mr Jaitley particularly mocked at Mr Gandhi's reference to Direct to Bank Transfer benefit scheme and said it is the same party that opposed AadhaAr policies in parliament and even in the Supreme Court.