Reviving the old pension scheme, 300 units of free power, a Rs 680-crore StartUp fund, one lakh jobs and Rs 1,500 per month for women between 18 to 60 years are among the promises the Congress made in its manifesto for the Himachal Pradesh polls.
The party also said it is contesting the November 12 election under a collective leadership and will decide on the chief ministerial candidate after discussion with elected MLAs and the party’s high command.
The Congress’ poll manifesto committee chairman Dhani Ram Shandil alleged the BJP has failed to live up to people’s expectations and has not fulfilled its promises made five years ago.
“This is not just a poll manifesto but a document prepared for the development and welfare of the people of Himachal Pradesh,” Shandil said.
The manifesto was released in the presence of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel. Others present at the event included AICC in-charge for Himachal Pradesh Rajeev Shukla, former Congress state unit chief Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu and AICC secretaries Tejinder Pal Bittu and Manish Chatrath.
On the implementation of the old pension scheme, Baghel said Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh have written to the Central government to return the people’s money with the National Pension System to implement the old pension scheme, but they refused. “We will again write to the Central government and seek legal advice to implement the old pension scheme,” he said.
Shukla said the party has prepared this manifesto after consulting all sections of society. It promised to set up an anti-drug enforcement agency headed by a retired judge to curb the drug menace in the state.
All transfers done by the Jairam Thakur government to harass officials will be revoked, Shukla said, adding an agriculture and growers committee will be set up with the representation of apple growers which will decide the price of fruits and crops.
For taxi drivers, the Congress promised to provide loans at nominal rates and also increase the period of permit from 10 years to 15 years, he said while reading out the manifesto.
The manifesto announced a pension for journalists, a reduction in fees for gun licenses and also promised that the state’s debt burden will be brought down.
The Congress is banking on the anti-incumbency factor and urging voters not to reelect the BJP in the state.