Rajasthan elections: Congress releases its manifesto for 50 lakh life insurance, 10 lakh jobs

The Congress' Jan Ghoshna Patra 2 focuses on transformative development for farmers, traders, women and youth—and reminds citizens 98% of 2018 promises were fulfilled

Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot addresses a public meeting (photo: @ashokgehlot51/ X)
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot addresses a public meeting (photo: @ashokgehlot51/ X)

Prakash Bhandari

The Ashok Gehlot government’s most attractive scheme, the Chiranjeevi Beema Yojana — which provides an insurance cover of Rs 25 lakh to eligible beneficiaries — will have a new feature if the Indian National Congress retains power in Rajasthan.

Prior to this, the party had already announced seven guarantees as its election pledge. Now, the Congress has formally announced its manifesto for the Rajasthan Assembly polls in its Jan Ghoshna Patra 2, which promises to double that amount of Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh for each family.

The new manifesto is dedicated to social welfare, with a focus on farmers, the youth, women, government employees and traders.

Released on Monday, 20 November, in the presence of party president Mallikarjun Kharge and the state's chief minister Ashok Gehlot, the manifesto also promises 10 lakh jobs to the youth, including 4 lakh jobs in the government in the next five years. The scheme will focus on the rural employment at the panchayat level.

The Congress also announced its plans to undertake the ambitious Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERPC) as a state project, since it was denied by the Union government. Planned to cover 13 districts, funding for it would be released in phases, the party leadership announced.

At a gathering at the Pradesh Congress office to announce the manifesto, Assembly speaker C.P. Joshi, former deputy chief minister Sachin Pilot and Pradesh Congress Committee president Govind Singh Dotasara were also present.

The Congress also promised at the meeting to conduct a caste survey to assess and align welfare measures to the population mix in the state.

The manifesto also promises to bring in a law to penalise hate speeches— something the Congress reminded voters that the BJP leaders have freely indulged in, alongside casteist remarks throughout their election campaign.

The party also promises a lowered price for cooking gas cylinders to Rs 400 (from the current Rs 500) for the poor, and new laws to protect a minimum support price to the farmers. Farmers can also look forward to interest-free loans up to Rs 2 lakh, it says.

New benefits promised to small traders, meanwhile, include interest-free loans up to Rs 5 lakh and the credit card benefits currently reserved for farmers.

Social security benefits hitherto reserved for gig workers are also to be extended to auto-rickshaw and e-rickshaw drivers, the Congress announced.

For the upliftment and safety of women, the Congress has promised to install CCTV cameras in public places and appoint security guards in every rural ward.

Women can also look forward to free travel on the state-run Rajasthan Roadways Transport Corporation buses — a scheme reflecting the very successful one currently in place in Congress-ruled Karnataka.

For government employees, the party has already promised that the state government will bring in legislation to ensure that the old pension scheme (OPS) for state government employees is reinstated.

The state will also set up its Vidhan Parishad, like Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Maharashtra, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka have done, it was promised.

The Congress' 7 Guarantees already announced by Priyanka and Rahul Gandhi during their earlier visits to the state already highlighted:

  • Rs 10,000 per year grant for every woman head of a family.

  • Purchase of cow dung (a necessary cooking fuel for many) at the rate of Rs 2 per kilogram.

  • Free laptops for college students, right from their first year of higher education.

  • Calamity insurance cover of Rs 15 lakh for affected families.

  • A guarantee for each child to gain admission in a government-run English-medium school.

PCC president Govind Singh Dotasra reminded citizens that the Congress-led state government has already fulfilled 98 per cent of the promises it made to the people in the 2018 elections.

It is progress that the Congress fears will be undone should there be a regime change.

The Pradesh Congress has suggested on its social media handles that a BJP victory would be an abysmal loss to the state, since the currently successful schemes are liable to be lost.

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