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Chhattisgarh polls: Farm sops, end to Maoist menace, hospitals key promises in BJP manifesto

Small and marginal farmers as well as landless agricultural labourers aged above 60 years will get pension of Rs 1000 per month. Two lakh new pump connections will be given to farmers in the next five years, Chhattisgarh CM Raman Singh said.

chattisgarh elections Updated: Nov 11, 2018 23:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Raipur
Chhattisgarh BJP manifesto,BJP manifesto,Maoists in Chhattisgarh
BJP president Amit Shah, Chhattisgarh chief minister Raman Singh and party leaders during the release of the party's manifesto for Chhattisgarh assembly elections, in Raipur on November 10.(PTI Photo)

Two days before Chhattisgarh votes in the first phase on November 12, BJP president Amit Shah and chief minister Raman Singh released the party’s manifesto for the state on Saturday, promising to make it Maoist-free and offering sops to farmers.

Titled Sankalp Patra, the manifesto promised pension to small and marginal farmers, to set up multi-specialty hospitals and to make Chhattisgarh a Maoist-free state. It was released a day after the Congress in its manifesto said it would waive farmers’ loans, ensure minimum support price for crops as per the Swaminathan Commission recommendations and ban sale of liquor.

Singh hit out at Congress for offering sops to farmers and said, “Congress had always considered farmers as its vote bank. The party was responsible for the pathetic condition of farmers. When Congress was in power from 2004 to 2014, it did not think about implementing Swaminathan Committee report but now they are talking about it.”

Small and marginal farmers as well as landless agricultural labourers aged above 60 years will get pension of Rs 1000 per month. Two lakh new pump connections will be given to farmers in the next five years, Singh said.

The manifesto also promised to purchase pulses and lentils at minimum support prices and to develop the state in organic farming. It promised interest-free loans upto ~2 lakh to women for setting up business and of ~5 lakh to self help groups.

District hospitals will be developed as multi-specialty hospitals while a super specialty hospital each will be set up in Ambikapur and Jagdalpur, Singh said.

The manifesto also talked of a new university to promote Hindi and Chhattisgarh languages, besides medical allowance of ~1000 per month to pensioners. Chhattisgarh will be developed as a popular tourist destination and a film city will be created, he said. The BJP also said it would open cow sanctuaries in all divisions of the state to improve milk yield.

Listing the achievements of Singh’s 15-year rule, Shah said Chhattisgarh, once considered a Bimaru state, was now being counted among the developed states. Bimaru — an acronym formed from the names of Bihar, MP, Rajasthan, and UP — was coined in the mid-1980s to refer to the poor economic conditions within those states.

“Congress had left the state with ~9,000 crore budget in 2003, which has now increased to ~83,000 crore. It is the only state which witnessed a tenfold hike in the budget in 15 years,” said Shah.

The state has emerged as a cement, power, steel and education hub under the Raman Singh government and was now being converted into a digital hub.

However, Congress state communication wing chief Shailesh Nitin Trivedi said: “The BJP has repeated its promises made in the previous manifesto, which remained unfulfilled. There is nothing new in it.”

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 23:52 IST