HP polls: Congress releases manifesto; woos farmers, students

HP polls: Congress releases manifesto; woos farmers, students

HP polls: Congress releases manifesto; woos farmers, students

The ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday released its manifesto, promising to strengthen the farm sector by granting interest-free loans to farmers, creation of 1.50 lakh jobs in the government sector and free laptops to 50,000 college students.

Restoration of the pre-2004 pension scheme, regularisation of contract employees after two years, enhanced daily wages, social security pension and appointment of anti-corruption grievances commissioner were the other promises made in the manifesto.

Himachal Pradesh goes to polls on November 9.

Chief minister Virbhadra Singh, Health Minister Kaul Singh, who is also chairman of manifesto Committee and AICC general secretary Sushil Kumar Shinde released the manifesto. It claimed that the Congress had fulfilled 95% of poll promises and would implement the remaining promises and fresh promises in the next term, if voted to power.

Singh said his government has ensured the speedy and uniform development of the entire state which is visible on the ground and development and welfare of all sections of people would be the main poll plank.

Kaul Singh said the Congress provided government jobs to 75,000 youth during the present term and 1.50 lakh jobs would be given in the next five years. For land acquired by the government, four times the market value will be provided as compensation.

Private bus permits would be given to youth to generate self-employment, interest-free loan of Rs 1-lakh would be given to farmers for purchasing agricultural inputs and 90% subsidy on anti-hail nets.

The Congress government promised to reduce the period of contractual employees and daily wagers from five years and ten years to three years and five years and now it has promised to regularise contract employees and daily wagers after two and three years respectively.

The manifesto also promises enhancement of pension by 5%, 10% and 15% after the age of 65, 70 and 75 years, additional increments to employees after fourth, ninth and fourteenth year of service, increasing daily wages to Rs 350 and free laptops to 50,000 college students.

The Congress also promised decentralisation of administrative and financial powers down to panchayat level and continue food subsidy scheme to control price rise.

Speaking to reporters, Virbhadra Singh said the BJP's decision to filed P K Dhumal would have no impact on prospects of the Congress.