Ahmedabad: Close on the heels of the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) making a litany of poll promises, the Gujarat Congress on Friday assured the State’s farmers a loan waiver up to Rs 3 lakh and 10-hour free power to them during the day if elected to power.
State Congress President Jagdish Thakor and former Gujarat party chief Bharatsinh Solanki stated that the loan waiver would be the first decision of a Congress Government in Gujarat.
Well aware that it is the rural regions that has kept the party afloat through the last three decades of BJP’s continuous rule, the State’s principal opposition party said it had always stood by the farmers and helped them build their lives.
Speaking at a press conference, Solanki said, "The party will provide free electricity to farmers for 10 hours.”
He said in a first the Congress party would come up with a law to protect the minimum support prices for the farmers even in the open market. “The support would continue even if the prices of agricultural produce crash in the open market and slide below the MSP level.”
The Congress leaders also promised to give bonus on the MSP to the farmers. Jagdish Thakor said, "Pastoralists will be paid Rs five per litre for contributing in milk production in cooperative dairies.”
“Not only this, we will give the status of farmers to pastoralists to ensure they can buy agricultural land and grow fodder for their cattle," Thakor said.
The Congress party has also promised that it will give employment to the educated unemployed youths.
In another key promise, the Congress leaders promised that their government would revise the power tariff for domestic and commercial consumers with an aim to lower the rates at affordable levels.
Like AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who promised 300 units’ free power every month, the Congress pointed out that electricity was the most expensive in Gujarat and they would bring it down to affordable levels.