New Delhi: Jobs and employment are two separate issues, BJP party president Amit Shah said on Tuesday. Shah was responding to questions about Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi’s constant attacks on the Gujarat government for not providing enough jobs to youths.
“Rozgaar (employment) aur naukri (jobs) do bohot alag cheezein hain,” Shah said during Network 'Agenda Gujarat' event. Elaborating on this point, the BJP party president said that thinking that all Indians would someday get jobs was not a practical thought.
“Look all the 125 crore Indians can’t get jobs. So the answer to (this question of unemployment) is self-employment. This is why we have made success stories of 9 crore people through our Mudra scheme,” Shah said also quoting other government schemes like Stand Up India and Startup India.
The BJP president also spoke about demonetisation and the Goods and Services Tax (GST) in his interaction with Network. Admitting that people are facing ”teething problems” due to the back-to-back implementation of demonetisation and GST, Shah said that both these measures will turn out to be a blessing for the country within a year.
“Both these schemes were meant to improve the system. Rahul Gandhi talks about these schemes but as far as I know he doesn’t run a business [laughs]. Union ministers and party leaders are constantly in touch with people. It is a new policy measure so there will be some teething problems. GST was implemented just five months back. Initially we held a meeting after two months. Now we’re meeting after every month to iron out problems like tax returns etc. I want to assure people that GST will turn out to be a blessing within five months,” Shah said.
He also talked about Congress’ approach towards the Gujarat Assembly elections, which he called “regressive” and divisive.
“It is unfortunate, Gujarat is being broken down into castes. Rahul Gandhi is practising the same politics that his father used to practice — that of KHAM (Kshyatriya, Harijan, Adivasi, Muslim). Gujarat has been suffering the results of such politics till date. And now the Congress is trying to revive that sort of politics again,” he said.
Shah’s comments were made in context of leaders from various social backgrounds joining the Congress. Dalit leaders like Jignesh Mewani, Patidar leaders like Hardik Patel and other youth leaders like Alpesh Thakor have joined the Congress.
He attacked the Congress for neither having a vision nor leader ("na neta hai na neeti hai").
“I challenge the Congress let them tell me who is their leader in Gujarat? Is it Bharatsinh Solanki, is it Ashok Gehlot or Rahul Gandhi? Why doesn’t the Congress declare its CM candidate?” Shah asked.
He also responded to questions on the infamous “Vikas has gone crazy” campaign in Gujarat.
“Vikas has not gone crazy. It is still there. And I think this campaign is bound to boomerang on the Congress. When we took over, villages used to get at most 10 hours of electricity. Now more than 1,900 villages get 24 hours of electricity. During Congress' reign Gujarat used to have curfew imposed for 200 days. Now the state is curfew free. In more than 9,000 villages tankers used to provide water, to areas as far as Saurashtra. Now we have Narmada water to the farthest corners in Kutch also," Shah said.
He said he would challenge the Congress to hold a contest between a state ruled by them and Gujarat, on any parameters of development, “I assure you, we will come out better in every department by 300%.”
Shah added, “GDP figures are for everyone to see. Agriculture growth rate has increased. During their rule Gujarat’s budget was Rs 10,000 crore, and in our time it has increased to Rs 1.72 lakh crore. If Rahul Gandhi wants to talk about jobs he should first go to Amethi where there are a lot of people without jobs. His family held the Amethi seat for generations, and imagine, I just inaugurated the collector's office of Amethi."