The ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh has promised to build concrete homes for all Ladli Behna beneficiaries — who number to more than 1.3 crore in the state — and hike the financial assistance under the Ladli Laxmi scheme to Rs 2 lakh among other poll promises in its manifesto released on Saturday.
The 96-page ‘Sankalp Patra’ (vision document) was released by BJP president J P Nadda, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Union ministers Prahlad Patel, Jyotiraditya Scindia and Ashwini Vaishnaw on the eve of Diwali.
BJP has promised free education to girls belonging to below poverty line (BPL) families from kindergarten to post graduation. It has also announced LPG gas cylinders at Rs 450 to the beneficiaries of Ladli Behna Yojana and the Centre’s Ujjwala Yojana.
Women voters total up to 2.67 crore in the state or 48 per cent of the 5.52 crore voters. They are especially crucial in 18 of the 230 Assembly seats in which they outnumber men. Battling anti-incumbency, CM Chouhan has staked it all on this voting block, as he banks on his Ladli Behana Yojana — a monthly stipend of Rs 1,250 for every adult woman — to see him through.
The Congress has promised to provide women a monthly stipend of Rs 1,500 and LPG gas cylinders for Rs 500. Similarly, on the lines of the Ladli Laxmi Yojana that earned Chouhan the “Mama” tag, the Congress has promised to provide Rs 2.51 lakh to girls from birth to their marriage under the Meri Bitiya Rani Yojana.
Taking stock of the agrarian distress in the state, BJP has promised to increase the support price of wheat to Rs 2,700 and paddy to Rs 3,100 per quintal. The Congress in its manifesto promised support price of Rs 2,600 for wheat and Rs 2,500 for paddy, promising to increase it up to Rs 3,000. The BJP has also promised 100 units of electricity in Rs 100 to every household.
Congress dedicated a substantial portion of its manifesto to poll promises for the OBC community including conducting a caste census, promising to remove hurdles in implementation of the 27 per cent OBC reservation.
In comparison, BJP has promised to provide OBC certificates in a time bound manner, establish OBC youth training academies under which free coaching will be provided for all competitive examinations, and build a grand Luv-Kush temple and Dharamshala in Gwalior, respecting the faith of the Kushwaha community.
BJP, which had a poor showing in the state’s tribal seats, has promised a budget of Rs 3 lakh crore to be spent on the development of tribals, who account for 21 percent of the state’s population. The party has promised to hike the rate of tendu leaf collectors to Rs 4,000 per standard bag, a Congress poll promise that it’s senior leaders including Priyanka Gandhi, have been talking about in their rallies at tribal districts.
With its focus on first time voters, the BJP has promised to establish one engineering institute named Madhya Pradesh Institute of Technology, on the lines of IITs, in each division of the state. It has also promised to set up one medical college, called the Madhya Pradesh Institute of Medical Sciences, on the lines of the Centre’s All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in each division.
It has also promised to setup a medical city named — Atal Medicity. Furthermore, the party has also promised to set up a welfare board for gig workers.
The Congress has announced its own Indian Premier League (IPL) team, an artificial intelligence centre, unemployment assistance of Rs 1,500 to 3,000 per month to unemployed youth, fill two lakh government job vacancies and create 1 lakh new positions in villages.
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