The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today released its manifesto for the upcoming assembly polls in Karnataka that promises to bring a bill to ban the slaughter of cows in the state. Speaking on the occasion, BJP’s chief ministerial candidate BS Yeddyurappa said that the welfare of the farmers will be the priority of BJP if it gets a chance to form a government in the state. BSY said that Rs 1,50,000 crore will be allocated for various irrigation projects if sits at the helm.
The party also said that to reduce the burden of debt on farmers, the government will in its first cabinet meet announce a crop loan waiver upto Rs 1 lakh. All loans borrowed from nationalised and and co-operatives banks will fall under the ambit. To help the farmers during price fluctuations, the party said that Rs 5,000 crore ‘Raitha Bandhu Market Intervention Fund’ will be set up. Also a ‘Raitha Bandhu Department’, under the CMO, will be set up to monitor implementation of all farmer friendly schemes.
“We will ensure water reaches to every field in the state,” he said while releasing the election document in the presence of Union Minister Prakash Javadekar, former CM Jagadish Shettar and other senior party leaders. Yeddyurappa also said that the BJP government will bring out a ‘white paper’ on the financial health of the state under the Congress party’s rule.
The document said that “Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill 2012” will be reintroduced. The manifesto also promises to make capital Bengaluru garbage-free. A scheme to provide Rs 25,000 and three grams of gold for brides under the BPL category has also been promised by the saffron party.
The document said that ‘Annapoorna Canteens’ will be opened across the state. It said that the government will spend Rs 3,000 crore Kamadhenu Fund for development of animal husbandry and dairy farming infrastructure. Besides, it said that the government will launch a scheme – ‘Mukhya Mantri Smartphone Yojane’, to provide free smartphone to women from Below Poverty Line (BPL) families. It also promised to provide free sanitary napkins to BPL women and girl students and at Rs 1 for other women under the new ‘Stree Suvidha Scheme’.
BJP MP and state leader Shobha Karandlaje said the manifesto was a ‘vision document’. She said that it reflects people’s aspirations and expectations. “Over three lakh people as also experts had been consulted in preparing the manifesto,” the leader said.
Karnataka will go to polls in single phase on May 12. Counting of votes will be held on May 15. The BJP had in 2008 stormed to power under the leadership of BSY. But he was forced to step down after being indicted by Lokayukta in corruption cases. The assembly elections are seen a semi-final for the next year general elections. While the Congress sees this as an opportunity to revive its cadres ahead of the 2019 polls, it is a fight of prestige for the BJP to continue its winning momentum.