A day before the first phase of polling in Gujarat, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party on Friday released its election manifesto with a slew of promises for various sections of society, which included a resolve to 'double' farmers' income.
Releasing the manifesto, BJP's election in-charge for Gujarat, Arun Jaitley, said it was prepared keeping in mind the party's resolution to maintain and improve on the 10 per cent growth clocked by the state under the party's rule.
Unlike the 2012 manifesto, the BJP has chosen not to make any extravagant promises, as the present poll document largely revolves around 'overall development' and 'resolutions' instead of getting into details.
In 2012, the Gujarat BJP, led by then chief minister Narendra Modi, had promised to construct 50 lakh houses in the next five years, which was the key highlight of the manifesto.
The manifesto released on Friday said it has resolved to 'double farmers' income through various means, such as cheap fertilisers and seeds, better irrigation, proper minimum support prices and (access to) food processing'.
For women, the party promised to increase the pension for widows at regular intervals.
A BJP government would give priority to quality education and build 'international-level universities', it said.
On the health front, the ruling party said its government will open more generic medicine shops and introduce mobile clinics and laboratories, apart from making Gujarat free of vector-borne diseases.
Without specifying a timeframe or giving numbers, the party manifesto said that to convert villages into 'smart villages', 'pucca houses for poor families' would be constructed. It also promised to construct toilets in every house in rural Gujarat.
For urban centres, the BJP promised timely implementation of Smart City projects and construction of multi-level parking lots.
It also promised to set up district-level 'Tribal Welfare Boards' and an 'Adivasi University'.
Other promises included new tourism circuits, development of ports, affordable healthcare for poor workers from the unorganised sector, new hostels for Scheduled Caste students and doubling of grant given to the Thakor and Koli Development Board.
Polling for 89 seats of Saurashtra and south Gujarat will be held on Saturday while that for 93 seats of north and central Gujarat would be held on December 14.
Campaigning for the first phase ended on Thursday.
IMAGE: From left, Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad, Gujarat BJP chief Jitu Vaghani, Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Gujarat BJP in-charge Bhupendra Yadav release manifesto for state assembly elections in Ahmedabad on Friday. Photograph: Courtesy @BJP4India/Twitter