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Chhattisgarh: Congress offers sops to farmers in election manifesto

Free 35 kg rice a month, free power supply to farmers, crop loans to peasants at zero per cent interest rate are among the sops promised by Congress in its manifesto for Chhattisgarh assembly elections scheduled this month.

The manifesto, released by AICC treasurer and state Congress Campaign Committee chairman Motilal Vora at the party headquarters here on Monday, said farmers will be provided Rs 2,000 per quintal for their paddy and of the payment and Rs 500 per quintal will be paid to woman members of their family.

Besides, farmers have also been promised free power supply for 5hp pumps while small and marginal peasants will be provided interest-free crop loans.

Provision of free 35 kg of rice a month to below poverty line and above poverty line families (exempting the income tax payee) has been mentioned in the manifesto.

Congress has also assured appropriate reduction in ‘increased’ power tariff and lowering water tax and property tax.

Increase in reservation for Scheduled Caste from 12 per cent to 16 per cent, purchase of forest produce on support price, maximum benefit to forest dwellers on buying their forest produce, parity in 'Shikshakarmi' teacher salaries and rehabilitation of those affected by Naxal violence are the other highlights of the manifesto.

For minorities, the party has assured to simplify the caste certificate issuing process, setting up a minority finance and development corporation, apart from establishing a Haj house.

Releasing the manifesto in the presence of senior leaders, Vora expressed confidence of Congress coming back to power in the tribal dominated state.

The party manifesto has also sought to attract youth voters. It has assured to fill vacant posts in all government departments, draft a law for ensuring employment to youths in the industrial sector and relief from fees in exams for government jobs.

Women’s college in each district along with a hostel, medical college in each division and student council elections through EVM machines are among the other promises made for wooing youths.
In a bid to pacify contractual teachers demanding hike in salaries, the party has said it will adopt ‘equal work, equal wages’ formula.

In health sector, the party has promised to start air ambulance facilities on the lines of 108 ambulance service for the people living in remote areas of tribal-dominated Sarguja and Bastar.
The manifesto also promises development of the Jeeram Ghati (Bastar) where senior Congress leaders were killed in 25 May Maoist attack, as martyrs’ site.

It has also promised to start state gallantry awards after the name of victims of Darbha Naxal attack.

Congress has also stressed on formulation of a policy based on ‘winning confidence’ of tribals to take on Left wing extremism in the state.

Establishing confidence in the Scheduled Tribe region will be on priority of the party if it comes into power, the manifesto mentioned.
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