Rajasthan assembly polls: BJP releases manifesto, matches Congress with sops

RajnathBJP chief Rajnath Singh projected chief ministerial candidate Vasundhara Raje at the manifesto release. (PTI)

Drawing from feedback received during its Suraaj Sankalp Yatra, the BJP has charted its manifesto for Rajasthan with various sops for the common man, many of these already made by the Congress and some now improvised on by the BJP. The manifesto was released Wednesday by party chief Rajnath Singh and "projected chief ministerial candidate" Vasundhara Raje.

It matches the Congress in addressing the issues of potable water and reliable power supply, both of which were Raje's strength during her tenure. Termed "Suraaj Sankalp Patra", the manifesto has sops for farmers, government employees, women and the youth. Like the Congress, the BJP too has included a welfare board for journalists and added one for lawyers, who had agitated against the Ashok Gehlot government earlier this year with this very demand.

The BJP promises jobs to 15 lakh youths. Rajnath said the manifesto focuses on the youth and women while offering something for all sections. The party yet again promises — as the Congress does — 5 per cent reservation to Gurjjars, Raikas and Rebaris under special backward classes, besides separate reservation for the economically backward. Time-bound promotions for government employees, a vision document on health, rural industrial hubs, 24-hour power supply for domestic connections and eight hours for three-phase lines, and cheap loans to farmers are among the highlights.

Raje said that the party will reintroduce the Bhamashah Yojana under which an account was opened for women for direct cash transfers.

The BJP factored in the Pakistani Hindu refugees who cross over because of persecution and refuse to go back. It promises them various facilities including housing.

"We received several suggestions during the Suraaj Sankalp Yatra over the past nine months and they have found a place in our manifesto. We are not just making promises but have a sincere commitment to fulfilling them," said Raje.

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