Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday released the party’s manifesto for Chhattisgarh Assembly elections. The state will vote in two phases on November 12 and November 20, and the results will be announced on December 11.
Gandhi released the manifesto titled “Jan Ghoshna Patra” in Rajnandgaon, which is the constituency of Chief Minister Raman Singh, PTI reported. The Congress chief is on a two-day election campaign in the state. He held a road show in Rajnandgaon town and addressed three poll rallies in Pakhanjore in Kanker district, Khairagarh and Dongargarh in Rajnandgaon district on Friday.
The manifesto has promised to waive farmers’ loans within 10 days of the Congress coming to power. Minimum support price for paddy will be fixed at Rs 2,500 per quintal and maize at Rs 1,700 per quintal, it said.
The manifesto also promised a ban on sale of liquor in the state, adding that gram sabhas in tribal areas like Surguja and Bastar will be given the power to decide on such a ban in their respective areas.
The party has also planned to provide pension to farmers above the age of 60, reduce electricity bills for domestic consumers by half and provide houses to urban and rural families if it comes to power.
Gandhi said a policy will be drafted to fight Maoism and steps will be taken to engage them in talks. He said each Naxal-affected panchayat will be given a package of Rs 1 crore for community development.
The manifesto has also promised apprenticeship programmes and employment opportunities for the youth, a monthly stipend to 10 lakh unemployed youths, setting up of special women’s police stations, women help cells in police stations and strict enforcement of laws related to women.
A “universal health care” scheme to provide free medical services has also been promised. The manifesto proposed converting six medical colleges into multi-speciality hospitals and air ambulances in areas like Bastar, Sarguja and Gariaband’s Supebeda.
Earlier in the day, he criticised the Narendra Modi government for its decision to demonetise Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes and for allowing loan defaulters to flee the country. “All of you were standing in long queues during demonetisation, but not one black money holder was seen,” Gandhi said. “Also, Nirav Modi, Vijay Mallya, Lalit Modi and Mehul Choksi ran away from the country with your money.”
At a rally in Rajnandgaon, Gandhi said both the state government and the Centre have failed to fulfil their promises. “CM Raman Singh and PM Modi promised jobs but today nearly 60,000 teacher posts, 13,000 lecturer posts are vacant and 3,000 Aadivasi schools were shut down,” the Congress president claimed. “We will ensure that the govt vacancies are filled up.”