Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot along with senior Congress leaders releases the party manifesto ahead of the Gujarat Assembly elections, at Rajiv Gandhi Bhavan, in Ahmedabad on Saturday | Photo: ANI
Ahmedabad: Ten lakh jobs in government and semi-government departments, free medical treatment of up to Rs 10 lakh, LPG cylinder at Rs 500 and 300 units of free electricity every month are some of the key promises that the Congress made in its manifesto for the Gujarat elections.
In the manifesto released on Saturday, the grand old party, which has been out of power in the state for more than two decades, also promised unemployment allowance of Rs 3,000 per month, Rs 2,000 pension to divyangs, widows, senior citizens and needy women, and waiver of loans of up to Rs 3 lakh of all fishermen, among other things.
Rajasthan Chief Minister and Congress's senior observer for Gujarat polls Ashok Gehlot released the manifesto at the state party headquarters here in the presence of other party leaders.
Elections to the 182-member Assembly in Gujarat, where the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is currently in power, will be held in two phases - on December 1 and 5 - and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
The Congress's manifesto committee chairman Dipak Babaria said the party interacted with nearly 65 lakh people before preparing this poll document.
"As suggested by party leader Rahul Gandhi, we will form a commission for the implementation of our manifesto and turn it into a government document after the Congress forms a government in the state. We will maintain the sanctity of our manifesto," Gehlot said after unveiling it.
He also said that the New Pension Scheme will be discarded in Gujarat and the Old Pension Scheme will be implemented in its place if the party is voted to power.
In the manifesto, the party promised to fill nearly 10 lakh vacant posts in government and semi-government departments, provide LPG cylinder at a subsidized rate of Rs 500 and 300 units of free electricity every month, free medical treatment of up to Rs 10 lakh in government-run hospitals, scholarships of up to Rs 20,000 to the needy students, a slash of 25 per cent in the fees presently charged by schools and colleges.
"Congress will give a pension of Rs 2,000 to divyangs, widows, senior citizens and needy women. Salaried class as well as other professionals covered under Income Tax will be exempted from paying professional tax," Babaria said.
The party will waive loan of up to Rs 3 lakh of all fishermen and Rs 1,000 crore will be allotted for the upkeep of cow and cattle shelters, he said.
With a view to end corruption and irregularities in government recruitments in the state, the Congress will bring a special act and set up fast track courts to deal with such cases, he added.