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BJP ON POPULIST SPREE



Rice at Re one per kg for poor families, bonus for farmers, interest-free loans for peasants, free laptops and tablets for students are the key promises made by the ruling BJP in its manifesto for the Assembly polls to be held in the state this month. "Rice at one rupee a kilogramme will be provided to 42 lakh poor families in the state if the party remains in power," Chief Minister Raman Singh said during the release of the manifesto in presence of senior leaders here today. Other promises for the farmers made in the manifesto included interest free agricultural loans, free power supply (for 5 hp pumps), Rs 300 per quintal bonus for paddy, insurance facilities and crop insurance guarantee scheme. Besides, the party has also assured to make efforts to provide Rs 2,100 per quintal support price to farmers for their paddy. However, it has not clarified a fix support price for paddy procurement to the farmers. To attract young voters, the party has promised to provide free laptops and tablets to students in the first year of their college. Early this year, the government had provided free laptops and tablets to students of final year in college. Free laptops to engineering and medical students while tablets to the science and arts stream students in the first year of their college will also be provided, Singh said. Establishment of an IT hub has also been mentioned in the manifesto. For women, the party has assured to introduce Noni Suraksha Yojna (Ladli Laxmi Yojana) to lay a firm foundation of girls' future, under which a fixed amount will be deposited in the name of new born girls and they will be given Rs 1 lakh after attaining age of 18 years. Interest free loans upto 2 lakh to SHGs (self-help groups), free of cost education to girls in government colleges till graduation, the manifesto added. Setting up Chhattisgarh Film Development Corporation, mono rail and metro rail project (for Raipur to Rajnandgaon and Raipur to Bilaspur in first phase), setting up a central tribal university and loans at 1 per cent interest to students of all sections are other highlights of the manifesto. In the health sector, BJP has promised to raise the medical cover under smart card scheme. The members in a family would get free health care upto Rs 30,000, which was earlier Rs 25,000.

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