Congress kickstarts Himachal Pradesh poll campaign by announcing 10 guarantees for public welfare

The Congress promised to give free power up to 300 units, Rs 1,500 per month to women in the age group of 18 to 60 years and employment to 5 lakh youth if voted to power in Himachal Pradesh

Indian National Congress flags
Indian National Congress flags

Bipin Bhardwaj

The Himachal Pradesh unit of the Congress party on Wednesday unveiled 10 guarantees (commitments) for public welfare at a meeting in Shimla ahead of the Assembly elections due in the state.

The polls in the state, which has 68 Assembly constituencies, are likely to be held in November this year.

Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, designated as senior observer for the HP Assembly polls by the Congress, said the party was committed to restore old pension scheme, free electricity, monthly financial assistance to women, mobile health clinics and employment opportunities for youth.

If it comes to power, the state Congress chief Pratibha Singh said, the Congress would give free electricity up to 300 units to every household, Rs 1,500 per month to women in the age group of 18 to 60 years, employment to 5 lakh youth and the right to fix fruit prices to the fruit cultivators.

Similarly, a startup fund of Rs 680 crore for the youth will also be set up. Mobile clinics for free treatment would be established in every village, and four English medium schools in each Assembly constituency.

The party also promised to buy 10 liters of milk every day from cow and buffalo owners and cow dung at the rate of Rs 2 per kg.

These promises of Congress are being considered as its ‘mini-manifesto’. It has tried to touch on the issues of unemployment, farmers, livestock farmers and women.

Besides Baghel and Singh, observer Pratap Singh Bajwa, state in-charge Rajeev Shukla, Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, former president of HPCC and current chairman of campaign committee Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu, national spokesperson Alka Lamba, secretaries of AICC and other senior leaders attended the meeting.

“Upset by the Congress party’s announcement of these commitments, Chief Minister Jairam Thakur is questioning us how we will fulfill them. I want to make it clear that we have assessed the financial viability of all these promises and the Congress will honour them within 90 days of the formation of Congress government in Himachal Pradesh,” Baghel said.

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