New Delhi: The last time Congress released its manifesto for the state of Karnataka - in 2013, the party was in opposition and looking to gain power. Five years on, the party has once again released its manifesto for the state in a bid to retain power it got thanks to what had been promised earlier.
So, what were the promises made then and what is the Siddaramaiah-led government now proposing to do to help Karnataka and its people progress and prosper?
2013: Congress'manifesto focused on the poor and the young and while launching it, Karnataka Pradesh Congress Committee (KPCC) president G. Parameshwara had accused the then state government of ignoring basic needs of people at large. The party, therefore, had promised 30 kilos of rice at Rs 1 per kilo for BPL families, loan waivers for farmers and laptops for college students. "Our manifesto is a solemn commitment to the people of Karnataka for time-bound implementation and not mere promises like many other political parties make," Parameshwara had said at the time.
The manifesto had also promised 75 per cent subsidy for irrigation pump sets powered by solar energy and 100 per cent subsidy for drip irrigation. Interest-free loans to farmers for up to Rs 2 lakhs and Rs 4 subsidy per litre of milk for farmers were some of the other highlights.
2018: This year, the Congress manifesto is all about what the party claims it achieved while in power as well as what it proposes to do if voted for another term. "Whatever the manifesto says will be done and 95 per cent of what was mentioned in the last manifesto has been done," said Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday while releasing the manifesto which has 'Progress with Congress' as its slogan.
"During the preparation of every budget, I would check our party's 2013 Manifesto, and fulfill the promises we had made.
— Karnataka Congress (@INCKarnataka) April 27, 2018
Focus on farmers in the state continues to be highlighted with the manifesto also mentioning plans to develop education, sports, culture, IT and governance, among others.
The elections - scheduled for May 12, are being seen as a prestige battle between Congress - a party which has been routed in almost every state, and BJP - a party looking at gaining momentum ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. A win in Karnataka, many say, could also give BJP pivotal stepping stone in south India where its presence remains limited.