Karnataka polls: BJP promises rice at Re 1 a kg for poor

Karnataka`s ruling BJP, going to the May 05 Assembly poll battling corruption scandals, promised free laptops to class 12 and college students.

Updated: Apr 19, 2013, 21:12 PM IST

Bangalore: Karnataka`s ruling BJP, going to the May 05 Assembly poll battling corruption scandals, on Friday promised 25kg rice at one rupee a kg to the poor and free laptops to class 12 and college students if voted to power again.

Lessons on "cultural nationalism" and moral values, introduction of Yoga as part of syllabus in schools and colleges, priority for Kannada medium students in higher education and employment, free Wi-Fi and Internet for all schools and colleges are other promises made in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) manifesto for the poll.

Releasing the manifesto here, senior party leader Arun Jaitley contended that the one rupee a kg rice and free laptops offers were not populist schemes. The cheap rice scheme would ensure right to food to the poor while students would make good use of IT equipment in a state known as India`s tech hub.

Chief Minister Jagadish Shettar, state BJP chief Pralhad Joshi, and party general secretary HN Ananth Kumar were present at the manifesto release function.

On the problems faced by the party during its first term in office in the state in the last five years, Jaitley whenever BJP faced such difficulties, it stood by values and ideals rather than individuals.

"We have emerged cleaner, stronger and more cohesive," he said in an apparent reference to party`s first chief minister BS Yeddyurappa and his followers leaving the party.

Yeddyurappa quit in July 2011 over mining bribery charges. He had last year left the BJP and formed his Karnataka Janata Party.

Shettar, who became BJP`s third chief minister in July last year, said he and his predecessor DV Sadandanda Gowda had "provided corruption-free and transparent government”.

Gowda succeeded Yeddyurappa in August 2011.

IANS