In Kerala, Rahul vows MSP for paddy, coconut, milk

New Delhi: Playing the minimum support price card to woo farmers of Karala, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that if Congress-led UDF government is voted to power in Kerala, it will increase the welfare pension amount besides providing MSP on several farms produce.

"Welfare pension will be increased to Rs 3,000 a month, there will be MSP for paddy, coconut, milk, rubber, pepper and cardamom. Prices of rubber will be increased to Rs 250 per kg and that of paddy will be Rs 30 per kg," said Rahul Gandhi while campaigning for the party candidates in the poll-bound state.

Rahul Gandhi also reiterated his promise to implement the NYAY scheme in the state. "We asked what you want, you told us to give you minimum money each year, hence NYAY. You asked for a separate farmers' budget, auto drivers for the subsidy, you told us to reform PSE. All this is in our manifesto, every point will be implemented," he said.

"First thing we'll do is bring in NYAY Yojana. It's not a gift or charity, it's how we'll start Kerala's economy. This is an acceptance that only the people of Kerala can start its economy. We'll put Rs 6,000 per month into poor people's bank accounts," he said.

Rahul Gandhi urged voters on Saturday to cast their ballots against "divisive forces" to strengthen democracy as polling began for the first phase of the Assembly elections in West Bengal and Assam.

Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who has been campaigning for the Assam polls, urged people to vote for progress and the golden future of the state. In a Facebook post in Hindi, she urged the people of Assam, especially youngsters and women, to vote in large numbers.

The Congress is contesting the West Bengal polls in a coalition with the Left parties and the Indian Secular Front (ISF). Elections to the 294-member state Assembly are to be held in eight phases starting Saturday, with the final round of voting scheduled to take place on April 29.

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