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Madhya Pradesh assembly elections 2018: Farm push, end to Vyapam body in Congress manifesto

The Congress unveiled a please-all manifesto on Saturday, promising to waive loans of up to Rs 2 lakh owed by farmers, end corruption, build cow shelters and push ‘made in Madhya Pradesh’ goods as it seeks to end the 15-year Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule here in the upcoming assembly elections.

Madhya Pradesh Elections 2018 Updated: Nov 11, 2018 19:23 IST
Punya Priya Mitra
Punya Priya Mitra
Hindustan Times, Bhopal
Madhya Pradesh assembly elections,madhya pradesh assembly elections 2018,Congress
The Congress unveiled a please-all manifesto on Saturday, promising to waive loans of up to Rs 2 lakh owed by farmers.(Mujeeb Faruqui/HT Photo)

The Congress unveiled a please-all manifesto on Saturday, promising to waive loans of up to Rs 2 lakh owed by farmers, end corruption, build cow shelters and push ‘made in Madhya Pradesh’ goods as it seeks to end the 15-year Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) rule here in the upcoming assembly elections.

The party also promised to close down Vyapam, the state’s recruitment-cum-admission board that has been embroiled in a multi-crore scam that surfaced in July 2013.

State Congress president Kamal Nath positioned the 112-page manifesto as a “Vachan Patra” (promises document) as against the “Jumla Patra” (false promises document) of the BJP. The manifesto promised a fair deal to all sections of society, be it farmers, women, students, the unemployed, tribals or Dalits.

“We will reduce the electricity bill of farmers by 50%, cut down diesel and petrol prices and open gaushalas (cow shelters) in every gram panchayat,” Nath said. Head of the state Congress campaign committee Jyotiraditya Scindia promised time-bound implementation of all promises.

The party is hoping to stage a comeback in the state that has been under the BJP rule since 2003 and where Shivraj Singh Chouhan has been chief minister since 2005. The polls will be held on November 28 and the counting of votes will be on December 11.

The Congress promised farmers, who have been the main focus of the principal contestants amid widespread farm distress,a bonus for almost all cereals, lentils and vegetables like onion, tomato and garlic produced by them, a bonus of ~5 per litre for milk and a new crop policy, apart from the loan waiver and subsidy in power tariffs.

For the poor, it promised an enhanced social security pension of ~1,000; and ~2.5 lakh and 450 sqft land for the homeless. Women would receive free education till Phd and ~51,000 for marriage.

Girls who secure 70% marks in the 12th board examination will be given a laptop. It promised an unemployment benefit also of ~4,000 per month for three years, and a wage subsidy of ~10,000 to those providing employment.

The manifesto was prepared by a team headed by senior Congress leader Rajendra Singh, who is also deputy speaker of the assembly, MP Vivek Tankha, former MP Meenakshi Natarajan, ex-ministers Narendra Nahata and Virendra Kumar Batham.

BJP national vice-president Prabhat Jha called the manifesto a “Jhoot ka Pulinda” (A bag of lies). “Since they are not going to win, they can promise anything they want. Moreover, we are already implementing many of the promised schemes for farmers and women,” he said.

First Published: Nov 10, 2018 22:05 IST