Jaitley hopeful of big win in Gujarat polls, downplays Congress' campaign

ANI | Updated: Oct 15, 2017 08:41 IST

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], October 15 (ANI): Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has downplayed Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi's aggressive election campaign in Gujarat by emphasising that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has greater chances of winning the assembly polls regardless of the latter's criticism of the Centre's economic policies.

In an exclusive interview with ANI, the finance minister, who was in the United States to attend the annual meeting of the IMF and the World bank, on Saturday said, "The result of the Gujarat elections will tell who people actually support. We contested UP elections post demonetisation and the result is out in the open," adding the anxiousness in the Congress camp over demonetisation was justified as curbing the menace of black money had never been the grand old party's intention.

Jaitley also slammed the Congress for changing its stand on the Goods and Services Tax (GST) despite having proposed it in the first place.

"Taking about the GST, it was the Congress' proposal and now they are trying to change their stand. The finance ministers of all Congress-run states back the GST, but the Congress being an opportunist party is opposing the tax reform. So I think the Congress' criticism has no strength."

The senior BJP leader further said that countries across the world were lauding India for having the guts to bring in major structural reforms like demonetisation and the GST.

"The world was in an economic slowdown for the past three years. India was growing and taking advantage of the situation. We implemented structural reforms," he added.

Rahul Gandhi has continually castigated the BJP at the Centre for demonetisation and roll out of the GST.

The Gandhi scion, eyeing to dethrone the ruling BJP in Gujarat, made a much-publicised visit to the state as part of the campaign for the assembly elections, and claimed that his party will outdo 22 years of the BJP government's developmental achievements in just six months.

The last Congress government in Gujarat was led by Chhabildas Mehta from February 17, 1994 to March 13, 1995.

The 14th legislative assembly elections in Gujarat are to be held by the end of 2017 as the term of 13th assembly ends on January 22, 2018. (ANI)