Promising a corruption-free administration in Odisha, the Opposition BJP Sunday pledged several welfare schemes for women, farmers and tribals in its election manifesto named Sankalp Patra. The manifesto released for the 2019 Lok Sabha and Assembly election in Odisha by BJP president Amit Shah, gave priority to women with the party promising provision of capital punishment for convicts, involved in the rape of minor girls below 15 years of age.
The saffron party also promised to launch a scheme for providing two-wheelers to meritorious girl students upon completion of school education. The party will give a one-time loan waiver for all outstanding loans taken by women Self Help Groups (SHG) and to create a fund of Rs 2,000 crore to provide interest-free loans up to Rs 3 lakh.
The party assured stringent action against corruption, by appointing a Special Investigation Team to probe chit fund scam. The BJP president said Goondaraj and mining mafia would be dealt with an iron hand.
Highlighting several other points in the party's Sankalp Patra, Shah announced that farmers will get loans at zero per cent interest. The party also assured small and marginal farmers of a monthly pension of Rs 3,000. The manifesto promised development of irrigation facilities with a Rs 1 lakh crore fund, the uninterrupted power supply of eight hours to farmlands, 1.5-time minimum support price (MSP) for all agricultural produce and benefits of Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi (PM-KISAN) Yojana to eligible farmers.
The BJP also announced Rs 3,500 crore fund for Skill Odisha, Rs 2,000 crore Odisha Tourism Skill fund, Ease of Doing Business for Odisha within five years, filling of all vacant posts in the state within two years and setting up of a Knowledge Centre in Bhubaneswar In the manifesto, there was a proposal to make Puri the cultural capital of India. The nine-point BJP manifesto, Shah said, will explore the true potential of the state, alleviate the sufferings of the poor and downtrodden and make Odisha a sought-after tourist destination in the country.
The manifesto also proposes the implementation of Ayushmaan Bharat scheme and the PM-Kisan yojana. The party had accused the ruling BJD government of putting obstacles in the way of implementing both these schemes.
The BJP manifesto also ensures implementation of Panchayats (Extention to Scheduled Area) Act, 1996 and make provision of land rights and pucca houses to all by 2022, electricity and piped water connection to every house, review of Cuttack-Bhubaneswar metro train project, 15 ports and railway line connectivity to all the 30 districts in the State. The manifesto also mentioned that the new Odisha will be free of corruption and the party will end the evil of alleged "percentage commission (PC) culture" in the state.
(With inputs from agencies.)