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Rahul Gandhi promises 1 crore jobs as he releases Congress manifesto for Karnataka polls

Rahul Gandhi claimed the Siddaramaiah government had fulfilled 95% of the promises made in the Congress manifesto released ahead of the 2013 assembly polls.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2018 23:24 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mangaluru
Taking a dig at the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said the saffron party’s manifesto would not be for the people of Karnataka and would reflect the views of the RSS.
Taking a dig at the BJP, Rahul Gandhi said the saffron party’s manifesto would not be for the people of Karnataka and would reflect the views of the RSS.(PTI)
         

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Thursday released a please-all party manifesto for the May 12 Karnataka assembly elections, promising sops ranging from free smartphones and laptops for students to 24-hour rural power supply, and improvements in irrigation, water infrastructure and housing for farmers.

The party promised to create 10 million jobs in five years, give free smartphones to all college students between 18 and 23 years old, set apart Rs 1.25 trillion for irrigation projects and to provide one super speciality hospital for every three districts. A statutory commission would be set up to ensure basic livelihoods for farmers and farm workers, it said .

Gandhi said in Mangaluru that the manifesto mirrors the ‘Mann ki Baat’ of the people of Karnataka, reflecting the voice of each individual. Mann ki Baat is also the title of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s monthly radio address to the nation.

“It is a philosophical difference between the Congress and the BJP. The Prime Minister likes to tell the people his Mann ki Baat, but this manifesto contains the Mann ki Baat of the people of Karnataka,” Gandhi said.

“It is my and our leaders’ commitment to you. Like in the last elections, we will do what we promised. We fulfilled 95% of the promises, and the reason is that we believe in the philosophy of Karnataka, of [12th century Lingayat philosopher] Basavanna, who said ‘nudidante nade’ (do what you promised),” the Congress president added.

Next month’s assembly elections are crucial both for the Congress, which is trying to retain the last big state in its fold, and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) that is trying to regain power in the only southern state it has governed in the past.

Assuring 12 years of school education for every child, the Congress manifesto said students of classes 10, 11 and 12 will get free laptops. Each village in the state will also get 24-hour power supply. Bengaluru, Bengaluru Rural and Ramanagara areas will benefit from the fifth phase of the Cauvery Water Project, the manifesto said. The party also said it will strive to build 1 million houses over the next 10 years in rural areas of the state.

Speaking at the release of the manifesto, chief minister Siddaramaiah declared that the party will win a majority again and come back to power. “The BJP has converted coastal districts into a lab for their communal politics, but the people here won’t allow their designs to succeed,” he said.

The manifesto committee was chaired by former union minister, Veerappa Moily, who said the party had taken feedback from all districts and stakeholders over the past six months to come up with the document. Moily said it was the first time that a Congress President had launched the party manifesto for a state election. The Congress also said it had launched district-specific manifestos for all the 30 districts in the state.

Senior BJP leader, Ananth Kumar, who is union minister for chemicals and fertilisers, said the Congress manifesto was filled with “empty slogans and false promises”. He said Congress policies would bring ‘vinaash’ (ruin) and the BJP’s would usher in ‘vikaas’ (development). Former chief minister and BJP leader, B S Yeddyurappa, also claimed that several promises made by the Congress party in the past had been unfulfilled. “There is no greater fraud than a promise unkept. A cursory look at the list of his claims of having walked the talk would show that they fall flat,” he said.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 12:49 IST

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