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Cong seeks mandate on myriad promises

The Congress said it would provide Rs 500 a month as dole to unemployed youth, rice at Rs 3 per kg and loans at four per cent interest to small and marginal farmers.
PTI | By Press Trust of India, Bangalore
PUBLISHED ON APR 15, 2004 05:42 PM IST

In a manifesto of myriad promises to all, the ruling Congress on Thursday sought a renewed mandate, saying it would provide Rs 500 a month as dole to unemployed youth in the 18-28 age group, rice at Rs three per kg and loans at four per cent interest to small and marginal farmers.

A free saree  a year for families below the poverty line, extension of free uniform and textbooks scheme for boys from standard eight to 10, grant for Madrasas through an autonomous board and a legally-backed committee for Christians to protect their interests are among other promises.

Released by KPCC President B Janardhan Poojary just four days before the campaign for 15 Lok Sabha and 120 assembly constituences ends, the manifesto said its focus would be on 10 points, including providing basic facilities of global standards in power, health and transport sectors.

It also said its government would hold consultations with private companies on providing 'fair share' of employment opportunities for SCs, STs, backward classes and minorities.

According to the manifesto, the very first cabinet meeting of the re-elected Congress would decide on giving dole to the unemployed in all the districts till they get jobs, a scheme it said offered a 'ray of hope' to five lakh youths.

It said an additional Rs 300 crore would be spent on providing rice at Rs three a kg for families living below the poverty line and loans at 4 per cent interest for small and marginal farmers would be given by subsidised interest.

Asked why the manifesto was being brought out belatedly, he said it was the party's strategy, so that "our promises will remain fresh in the minds of voters".

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