Madhya Pradesh: Congress lines up free rations,extra gas

The Congress manifesto in Madhya Pradesh includes loan waivers and two-wheelers for students.

Written by Milind Ghatwai | Bhopal | Published: November 12, 2013 3:26:01 am

Out of power in MP for a decade,the Congress has promised in its poll manifesto a slew of populist measures such as waiver of cooperative loans up to Rs 51,000,free 35 kg rations per month to every poor family,three additional subsidised LPG cylinders,constitution of an Indira Gandhi Garibi Hatao Ayog and free electricity to farmers using up to five-horse power pumps.

Stressing that a proposal to set up a legislative council has been under consideration for a long time,it promised Monday to do so if voted to power. It also promised a new commission to consider formation of more districts.

Accusing the BJP of “betraying the 2008 mandate”,the Congress cited a Rs 50,000 farm loan waiver as one of the promises that were not kept. On its part,the Congress manifesto promises to waive loans from cooperative and land development banks up to Rs 51,000.

In an effort to outdo the BJP government’s pro-kisan image,the party makes 45 promises including a review of all power theft cases against farmers,waiver of disputed power bills,12-hour three-phase uninterrupted supply and installation of new transformers to reduce transmission losses.

For economically disadvantaged voters,the 40-page manifesto promises the Garibi Hatao Ayog for their “overall welfare”. The commission will be looked after mostly by the poor,it says. There is also a promise of building 10 lakh houses under various schemes.

Alleging that health services under BJP rule have deteriorated beyond redemption,the manifesto borrows from the Rajasthan government’s free medicine,free checkup scheme. It also copies the unemployment allowance scheme from Congress-ruled Haryana.

The party promises to reduce VAT on petrol,diesel and LPG cylinders after studying the tax structure in neighbouring states. A special force to effectively deal with terrorism,communalism,Naxalism,organised crime and anti-national activities is another promise.

Released in the presence of Jyotiraditya Scindia,Kamal Nath,Harish Rawat,Pradeep Jain and Digvijaya Singh,the manifesto promises that elected representatives will give a public account of their works and assets every year,and ministers,including the chief minister,will submit details of their assets every year in the assembly.

In an acknowledgment that the BJP government’s free pilgrimage scheme has been a success,the Congress says it will add shrines to the list. It has already suggested two places: Bihar Sharif and a church in Goa.

Referring to recent scams in higher education,the manifesto says the Congress will set up a commission to probe corruption,provide for strict penalty for fake mark-sheets and fake MBBS (Munnabhai) doctors,and give the responsibility of conducting all professional examinations to the public services commission.

To woo journalists,the party has promised residential plots at concession in Bhopal and regional headquarters,beside housing loans at lower rates.

Promises

Governance

* Formation of a legislative council

* District Reorganisation Commission to consider possibility of new districts

For Aam aadmi

* 35 kg free ration per family per month

* Three additional subsidised LPG cylinders in addition to nine already being given

Loans,cash

* Waiver of cooperative and land development bank loans up to Rs 51,000

* Unemployment allowance to the unemployed (on the lines of Congress govt scheme in Haryana)

Farms,forests

* Review of all claims of tribals and forest-dwellers denied benefits under Forest Rights Act

* Free electricity to farmers using pumps up to five horse power.

Education

* Laptops for all toppers in government universities and colleges,and to students who score 75 per cent or more in Class XII

* Free two-wheelers for first 10 students in divisional merit lists

* Commission to probe corruption in MP Professional Examination Board

For minorities

* Immediate implementation of Sachar Commmittee recommendations

* Anti-communal violence bill

Schemes

* Immediate implementation of free medicine and free checkup scheme in Congress-ruled Rajasthan

* Special scheme for revival of rivers

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