Free LPG on Holi, Diwali: pension hike in election manifesto
New Delhi: The BJP on Tuesday released the Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra 2022, the party’s manifesto for the high-stakes Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, in which it promised free electricity for irrigation to farmers in the next five years, payment with interest by sugar mills if cane payments are not made in 14 days to farmers and 10-year punishment and a Rs 1 lakh fine for those indulging in “love jihad”. The poll document, which vowed to make “UP number 1”, also promised free travel to women above 60 in public transport, to hike the amount from Rs 15,000 to Rs 25,000 under the Mukhyamantri Kanya Sumangla scheme and two free LPG cylinders for beneficiaries of the PM Ujjawala scheme on Holi and Diwali. Women are seen as among the BJP’s major support groups in the state.
The manifesto, released by Union home minister Amit Shah in Lucknow, promised the “wholesome development” of every village in a new scheme named for late BJP leader and former CM Kalyan Singh, boarding schools for SC students under the “Sant Ravidas Mission”, and raising the pension for senior citizens and Divyangs to Rs 1,500 per month.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Shah said: “The BJP has fulfilled over 92 per cent of the 212 ‘sankalps’ (promises) made in its 2017 manifesto.”
Under “cultural heritage and promoting tourism”, the BJP document has promised cultural centres dedicated to Maharishi Valmiki in Chitrakoot, Sant Ravidas in Varanasi, developing Maharaja Pasi’s fort, a grand memorial dedicated to Maharaja Suheldev in Bhahrich and a Ramayan University.
Academies to promote the literature of the four prominent languages of the state’s regions -- Braj, Awadhi, Bundeli and Bhojpuri -- will also be established. The BJP government also promised an online information system on temples, which will have details regarding their history as well as other things like route maps. The BJP also promised free online Sanskrit training in the state. The party has also promised to establish an academy in the name of late singer and Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar to promote folk dance, music and drama.
The BJP also released its manifesto for the Goa Assembly polls, in which it promised to make the state a $50 billion economy in the next 10 years and pledged to provide housing for all, restoration of mining activities and a ceiling on taxes on petrol and diesel to check prices.
The coastal state will go to the polls on February 14. Union minister Nitin Gadkari, in the presence of CM Pramod Sawant and Goa BJP president Sadanand Shet Tanavade, unveiled the manifesto that speaks of “empowering the future of Goa, increasing tourism activities, restoring legal mining and eliminating multi-dimensional poverty” in the state.