Lok Sabha election: BJP manifesto in Odisha promises new sops for women, farmers, tribalshttps://indianexpress.com/elections/odisha-bjp-releases-manifesto-that-focuses-on-women-farmers-youth-and-adivasis-5663430/

Lok Sabha election: BJP manifesto in Odisha promises new sops for women, farmers, tribals

Interest-free crop loans to all sharecroppers, small and marginal farmers, 1.5 times the input cost as the MSP for all eligible crops as well as clearance of dues owed to the sugarcane farmers by in the first 150 days of coming to power are also listed in the party's manifesto.

Lok Sabha election: BJP manifesto in Odisha promises new sops for women, farmers, tribals
Amit Shah releasing BJP manifesto for Odisha. (Source: Twitter/bjp4odisha)

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Sunday released the manifesto for Odisha, which focuses on curbing crime against women, capacity building in agriculture, the creation of jobs, rights of tribals, boosting the economy and giving importance to the state’s history and culture. The manifesto was released by party president Amit Shah.

The BJP manifesto pledges to “enact legislation making a provision to award capital punishment to those involved in the rape of girls aged 15 years or younger”. BJP says it will implement “strict security measures” in shelter homes for females. The party also promises to introduce the Shail Bala Two-wheeler Yojana to provide two-wheelers free of cost to all meritorious girl students upon completion of school education. The party also promises a one-time loan waiver for all outstanding loans taken by women Self Help Groups (SHG) and to create a fund of Rs 2,000 Crore to provide interest-free loans and seed money.

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Interest-free crop loans to all sharecroppers, small and marginal farmers, 1.5 times the input cost as the MSP for all eligible crops as well as clearance of dues owed to the sugarcane farmers by in the first 150 days of coming to power are also listed in the party’s manifesto. A key promise is to expand the irrigation network in the state through a dedicated fund of Rs 1,00,000 crores over the next five years. Marine fishermen will be provided with 300 litres diesel and kerosene at 50 per cent subsidy every year, the manifesto says.

The BJP says it will establish a Skill Odisha fund of Rs 3,500 crore, to skill 20 lakh youth under the Odisha Skill Development Program over the next five years. The youth of the state have been promised the opportunity for self-employment through a revolving fund of Rs 3,000 crore which will facilitate loans of up to Rs 3 lakh at 1 per cent interest rate. BJP says it shall ensure that all patta claims of tribal settlers are settled within the next five years and that PESA rules are notified and implemented within three months of coming to power.

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BJP has assured that the Forest Rights Act is strictly implemented. In addition, there is a promise to provide 3 kg daal and 1 kg of salt-free of cost to all BPL Tribal and Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group households to counter the problems with malnourishment and anaemia. The party says it will reimburse the GST collected on Kendu leaves, a critical source of income for tribals.

On health care, BJP added that it shall ensure complete implementation of Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (Ayushman Bharat) Scheme in the state, establish a Medical College in every district and an integrated emergency response hotline – 112 with a fleet of 2000 ambulances to reach pregnant women and patients in critical condition within 30 minutes. “Upon failure of meeting the 30 minutes timeline the patient will be reimbursed with a sum of Rs 2500”, the party stated.

The BJP has also promised to “provide free quality education in government educational institutions from KG to PG to all EWS students”.

With an eye on the state’s historical and cultural heritage, BJP promises to build a statue of Buxi Jagbandhu at Khurda (district) and a world-class museum and memorial in remembrance of the Paika Bidroha, the First War of Independence in India. It pledges to increase the Tourism Department budget to Rs 1,000 Crore to effectively market and popularise the travel and tourism avenues in Odisha across India and the world.

The party promises stringent action against corruption, by appointing a Special Investigation Team to probe into the Chit Fund Scam and to bring the guilty to book. It promises to return the money of the victims of Chit Fund Scam as recognised by Justice M.M Das Commission on a “priority basis”.

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