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BJP promises free laptops, rice at Re one in Karnataka

April 19, 2013 18:27 IST

Twenty five kg of rice at 1 rupee for all poor families and free laptops/tablets to pre-university level and graduate students are among a set of allurements to Karnataka's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party held out to the electorates in its manifesto for May 5 assembly polls.

Pure drinking water to all citizens, 24X7 uninterrupted power supply and a project to teach good and correct English in Kannada medium schools would all be a reality, said the BJP seeking the people's mandate for the second time.

The manifesto was released by opposition leader in Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley in the presence of Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, state unit BJP chief Prahllad Joshi, party General Secretary H N Ananth Kumar and other state leaders.

Lessons on "cultural nationalism" and moral values are part of promises held out in the field of education on which the party assured the people it would increase the spending from 1 per of GDP to 3 per cent.

The party promised 50 per cent reservation of seats to women in local bodies and eradication of child labour. Priority for Kannada medium students in higher education

and employment, free Wi-Fi and internet for all schools and colleges, introduction of Yoga as part of the syllabus in schools and colleges are among the many promises made.

Jaitley defended the rice scheme, saying it and the promise to provide laptops could not be construed as populism. Providing the right to food to the deprived sections would make right to live more meaningful, he said. It was also not populist if students in a state known for IT power were given instruments of IT.

He said that the BJP had succeeded in installing the party's first-ever government in the South five years ago and "we have governed and completed full term taking up challenges for the cause of people."

Jaitley said whenever the party faced difficult challenges, it stood by values and ideals rather than individuals. "Politically, we have emerged cleaner, stronger and more cohesive."

"We are now entering with the hope of another mandate to serve (the people)", he said.

Shettar said "we have provided good governance and a corruption-free and transparent government", referring his tenure of nine months and 11 months of his predecessor D V Sadananda Gowda.

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