Poll manifesto announces several welfare measures
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi said his party would focus on creating 30 lakh new jobs for the youth and providing 50 lakh houses to urban and rural poor as part of a slew of welfare schemes for all-round development of the State with an estimated expenditure of Rs 3 lakh crore, over the next five years.
Unveiling his party’s manifesto here on Monday, he called it an “all-inclusive sankalp patra (commitment document)”. Unlike other parties’ poll-eve announcements, the ruling BJP has put out a “vision statement” and an action plan for the next five years, he told newspersons. “For us, it is a serious document,” he said.
The Assembly elections will be held in Gujarat in two phases on December 13 and 17 to elect 182 members of the Vidhan Sabha. The BJP and the main Opposition Congress are major contenders for power in the State which the ruling party has been selling as a “role model” for other States in the country to follow.
Modi said if his government returned to power, it would set up an experts’ committee to identify the “neo-middle class” that has emerged in the last decade and draft a policy for its youth-led development. On the promise to provide houses, he said while the Congress governments could build only 10 lakh “poor quality” houses in Gujarat during its 40-year rule, the BJP government has, during the last 10 years, made 22 lakh houses. Now it was committed to make 28 lakh houses for the rural poor and 22 lakh for the urban poor at a cost of Rs 33,000 crore over the next five years.
The BJP would organise a biennial global agricultural event on lines of “Vibrant Gujarat” to promote integration of this sector with latest technological advancements. It would also strive to bring an additional 16 lakh hectares of land under irrigation.
The manifesto promised separate universities for development of skills and sports and said efforts would be made to provide highly subsidised generic medicines to all under the auspices of the recently set up Gujarat Medical Services Corporation.
The BJP government would also be guarantor to the youth who want to seek bank loans for self-employment. Other promises included making Gujarat a hub for solar energy, textiles, logistics and developing 13 special investment regions.