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Congress manifesto: free TV sets and rice in J’khand poll

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Ranchi, Nov 19 (PTI) The Congress today promised to provide 35 kg rice free of cost to people not in the Income Tax category and free TV sets to BPL families if it came to power in Jharkhand ahead of the five-phase polls beginning on November 25.

“People who are not in the IT category will be given 35 kg rice every month and TV sets to BPL families to make them aware of happenings around the world,” Congress leader and former Union Minister Subodh Kant Sahai said at a press conference after releasing the party’s poll manifesto.

AICC leader B K Hariprasad, Jharkhand Finance Minister Rajendra Prasad Singh, PCC president Sukhdeo Bhagat, former MP Furkan Ansari and several other leaders were present on the occasion.

With an aim to bring political stability in the state, the manifesto promises to initiate steps to increase the present Jharkhand Assembly strength from 81 to 140 seats and setting up of a Legislative Council to accommodate educationists and intellectuals.

To deal with the Maoist problem in Jharkhand, the Congress said if voted to power, it would initiate dialogue with the Left Wing Extremists, besides taking strong steps in dealing with the problem.

The manifesto also focuses on rehabilitation in a time-bound manner of those residing in the Jharia coal belt where underground fire has been raging for several decades, threatening the residents.

Promising to shift the headquarters of Steel Authority of India Limited, Coal India Limited and Damodar Valley Corporation to Jharkhand, the manifesto vowed to impart skill training to one crore youth to make them fit for employment.

It also promised to give Rs 50,000 as seed money after setting up self-help groups comprising 50 women in every village.

Pledging 24×7 electricity in Jharkhand, the Congress assured five horse power electricity free of cost to farmers and purchasing paddy at Rs 2,000 per quintal from them.

It said newly wedded couples would be given free clothes and ‘Mangal sutra’ and the party would distribute bi-cycles among Madrasa students.

Addressing the unemployed youth, the Congress said it was committed to fill up government vacancies at group III and group IV levels within one hundred days, if voted to power and would also focus on implementation of the Ranganath Mishra Commission recommendations on minorities, finding marketing for weavers, rebate on the pattern of Khadi products to producers of cloth on handloom.

The party promised scholarships to Madrasa students, which are recognised at par with schools, making teaching of Urdu/Farsi mandatory in all universities and introducing MA/PhD for the languages and strengthening of all existing commissions for minorities.

Stating that women’s security was one of its priorities, the manifesto promises to exert pressure on the Centre to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill, new laws for women’s security and amendment to existing acts.

If voted to power, the Congress said it would ensure Rs one lakh loan to women on low interest rate.

To strengthen law and order, the manifesto highlights modernisation of police stations and security personnel, fixing responsibility for laxity in law and order duties and setting up of police-citizen cooperation committees.

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