Corruption-free governance, uninterrupted power supply, according film production a full-fledged industry status, besides ensuring employment for the local youth are some of the promises included in the Bharatiya Janata Party’s manifesto for the ensuing assembly elections released on Monday.
“If voted to power our government will organise Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas (PBD) on the pattern of Gujarat and Rajasthan, in which non-resident Uttarakhandis would be invited from all over the globe,” said the coordinator of the BJP manifesto Committee, Bachhi Singh Rawat, while speaking at the party’s manifesto release function. “The move would help generate an annual investment of R5,000 crore, which would be made by the non-resident Uttarakhandis spread all over the globe,” he added. Other prominent leaders who attended the function included the election in-charge for Uttarakhand Rajnath Singh, the chairman of state election campaign committee Bhagat Singh Koshiyari, chief minister B C Khanduri and his predecessor Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank among others.
Rawat said if voted to power the BJP government would ensure 10-12% annual growth rate in Uttarakhand in the next five years beginning 2012, which would be far higher than the 7.5% national annual growth rate and the current annual 9% growth rate of the state. Besides, the BJP also promised to set up a separate commission each for the local farmers as well as the local unemployed youth. The state farmers’ commission or Kisan Ayog would help ensure various facilities for the marginalised hill farmers, besides other members of the farming community. Similarly, the proposed state youth commission (Rajya Yuva Ayog) would help two lakh local unemployed youth access jobs annually.
Besides, loans would be provided to the farmers inhabiting the border areas at a meager 2% interest rate, instead of the earlier 5%. That aside, the local farmers and craftsmen would also be entitled to ‘Kisan credit cards’ and ‘Shilpi credit cards’ so that they could get instant bank loans. The party also promises that it would ensure devolution of power to all the local urban and rural bodies in the state as per the 73rd and 74th constitutional amendments, which would mean that they would become “absolutely self-sufficient in terms of functions, functionaries and finance.”
Speaking on the occasion, the former BJP national president and the party’s state election in-charge Rajnath Singh said the BJP governments do not make hollow promises. Giving, in this connection, the example of the party’s manifesto released for the 2007 assembly election, he said of the total 184 announcements made by the party in the document (manifesto), the BJP government had implemented as many as 160 whereas the remaining (24 announcements) were in the process of being implemented.
He also lambasted the Congress-led UPA government at the Centre for its failure to fulfil most of its promises.
Chief minister Khanduri also alleged that there was a huge difference between the promises made by the Congress and its actual deeds.