The Congress on Monday promised 300 units of free electricity to household consumers and a financial assistance of Rs 1,500 per month to all women aged between 18 and 60 years if voted to power in Himachal Pradesh. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government in the hill state, led by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, is already providing 125 units of electricity to household consumers for free since July 1.The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) also made a similar poll promise in the state a few months ago. Then poll in-charge of the Arvind Kejriwal-led party for Himachal Pradesh, Satyendar Jain, announced in Dharamshala in April that 300 units of free electricity would be provided to household consumers if the party is voted to power in the state.
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister and the Congress’s senior election observer for Himachal Pradesh, Bhupesh Baghel, also said the old pension scheme will be restored, as was done in Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh within 10 days of the Congress coming to power in those states. Baghel made the announcements while interacting with reporters here. Replying to a query on availability of funds, Baghel, who was accompanied by Himachal Pradesh Congress president Pratibha Singh, Leader of Opposition in the state Assembly Mukesh Agnihotri and state Congress campaign committee chairman Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, said suitable provisions will be made in the budget to honour the promises if the party returns to power in the state.
These promises will also be included in the Congress’s poll manifesto, which will be released soon, he added. Himachal Pradesh is likely to go to polls in December. The AAP had also promised to give Rs 1,000 to women every month and 300 units of free electricity in the run-up to the Punjab Assembly polls held earlier in the year. The Bhagwant Mann-led AAP government in Punjab has partially implemented the promise of providing 300 units of free electricity but nothing has so far been done as regards the other promise of giving Rs 1,000 per month to women.