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MP Assembly Elections: Cong Manifesto Promises to Buy Cow Manure, Farm Loan Waiver, IPL Team

Kashif Kakvi |
The party launched its Vachan Patra on Tuesday at Bhopal; the 106-page long manifesto has 59 promises, including unemployment allowance for youth

Bhopal: Cow manure at Rs 2/kilo, health insurance cover up to Rs 25 lakh, paddy Minimum Support Price (MSP) at Rs 2,500 per quintal and wheat at Rs 2,600 per quintal, an Indian Premier League (IPL) team of the state, are some of the promises the Congress has made in its manifesto 'Vachan Patra'.

The Congress party launched its Vachan Patra on Tuesday at Bhopal's Ravindra Bhawan ahead of the Assembly polls in Madhya Pradesh due on November 17 this year. The votes will be counted on December 3.

"We tried to cater to the needs of all sections of society in the manifesto," said Kamal Nath, launching Vachan Patra. "It was prepared after long hours of meetings, and we will fulfil the promises."  

The cow manure scheme was adopted from Chhattisgarh, and health insurance up to Rs 25 lakh from Rajasthan.

In the media briefing, Congress reiterated its previous promises, including implementation of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS), caste census, farm loan waiver up to Rs 2 lakh, farmers' power bill waiver, 27% reservation to  Other Backward Classes (OBCs), financial assistance of Rs 1,500 a month to women, subsidies electricity, financial assistance of Rs 500 to 1,500 to school students, LPG at Rs 500, fill two lakh vacant posts including backlogs and others.

The 106-page manifesto has 59 promises, including unemployment allowance for youth ranging from Rs 1,500 to Rs 3,000 per month for two years, Rs 1.1 lakh to girls under Beti Vivah Yojana, Rs 25,000 remuneration to journalists and others. Loans for women entrepreneurs, housing for rural homeless women, and free transportation on metropolitan bus services. 

The Congress has also promised to make laws ensuring nine guaranteed rights, including Right to water, right to health, right to electricity, right to education, right to fertilisers, right to home, right to income, right to employment and right to social justice.   

When asked what is new in the 2023 Manifesto, the manifesto committee head, Rajendra Singh, said, "Health insurance scheme, fixed MSP on wheat and paddy, monthly stipend to school students between 1 to 12, formation of probe panel to look into the corruption cases of recruitment." 

When asked whether these schemes are financially feasible when the state has a debt of over Rs 4 lakh crore, he replied, "When we announced farm loan waiver, the then finance minister Jayant Malaiya had said that the government coffer is empty, how they would do it. But the 15-month of Congress government waived off farm loan of 27 lakh farmers. We have only announced those schemes which are financially feasible and taken help from experts." 

When asked whether the Congress government would review the last six months' announcements of the present government, Congress national spokesperson Abhay Dubey said, "Every government reviews the last six months of functioning and announcements when came to power. We would do the same if voted to power." 

Commenting on the manifesto, political expert Arun Dixit said that with populist announcements, the Congress has tried to make everyone happy. "From cow, religion, farmer, women, youth, old age, the Congress is trying to pamper every section of the society." 

"The Kamal Nath government is said to have proposed the formation of Vidhan Parishad in the first cabinet," he said, adding that the kind of announcements the Congress has made would be difficult for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to counter. 

The Congress has released a list of 144 candidates, and the incumbent BJP has released a list of 136 candidates. 

In a media briefing, an hour after Congress launched its manifesto, BJP's state president, VD Sharma, said, "It's a bundle of lies. Instead of offering anything that they have promised in the manifesto, they would wrest the money poor." 

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said, “Kamal Nath made 900 promises five years back but did not implement even nine of them. People do not trust Congress and know the BJP fulfils its promises. The Congress will not be able to mislead people.” 

Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Mizoram are going to polls between November 7 and 30, while the results will be declared on December 3. This is the last major electoral exercise ahead of the 2024 national elections.

With 29 Lok Sabha and 11 Rajya Sabha seats, the Congress hopes to return to power in Madhya Pradesh. The party has set a target of winning 150 of the 230 seats in the state. The Congress, which came to power after 15 years of BJP rule in 2018, lost power to the BJP in March 2020 after 22 legislators defected to BJP with Jyotiraditya Scindia.

(With inputs from PTI)

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