Gujarat polls: Congress promises farm loan waiver, Indira canteens, special quota

Rahul Gandhi

Congress party in Gujarat released its manifesto on Monday for the upcoming state assembly elections and said its main focus is the employment of youth and providing relief and support to farmers in the state.

For farmers, the Congress has proposed loan waiver, announcement of the MSP before the beginning of the season, 16 hours of electricity during the day and free water.

The party has promised filling of vacant government positions and cancellation of outsourcing of jobs as well as contract and fixed salary systems. From Rs 32 thousand crores 25 lakh youth will be employed.

Hardik Patel joined hands with the Congress after the latter agreed to his demand for reservation for the Patidar community.

The party says that Value-Added Tax will be reduced to Rs 10 by the price of petrol and diesel.

To woo the backward classes, the party promises to provide a special package for OBC-dominated areas for development and education.

It also promised 25 lakh houses in five years under Indira Awas Yojana for the rural and urban poor and Rajeev Gandhi Awas Yojana for the urban lower and middle income groups. It has promised loan waiver and free water for farmers, housing for women, unemployment allowance for youth, reduction in taxes, halving of domestic power tariff, a bouquet of healthcare, education and social measures besides "special benefits" to upper caste communities such as Patidars.

Equal rights for members of Patidar community in education and for jobs. It would bring all private schools and colleges under Fee Regulation Act to make education affordable to common people. The Congress manifesto also talks about 50 per cent reduction in electricity bills and property taxes.

For girl students, 100 per cent free education will be provided from primary to higher education, whereas families availing the Centre's Ujjwala gas connection will also be provided kerosene.

The party which is out of power since last 22-years has assured in its manifesto that Sardar Patel Universal Healthcare Card to be given to all people.

Reaching out to businessmen, the Congress said it would set up fast track courts for serious economic offences to deal with cases of defaults, cheque bounce, cheating, fraud, extortion, land grabbing etc.

"Our approach is a shift away from GDP to GNHI, as all our policies will be targeted for improving happiness index of the public like we see in countries like Bhutan, Norway and Sweden", he said.

For minorities, State minority commission will be constituted as per the manifesto.

The manifesto says, Gujarat under the BJP has regressed on indicators.

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