Ahmedabad: Looking to retain power in the upcoming Assembly Elections in Gujarat, the Bhartiya Janata Party under the leadership of Chief Minister Narendra Modi released its manifesto on Monday that promises a slew of measures for the uplift of farmers, rural and urban poor and all-inclusive growth.
The vision document for Gujarat aimed to propel the state in the next round of growth was unveiled by Modi in presence of other senior state party leaders and Leader of Opposition in the Rajya Sabha Arun Jaitley.
Modi said that the party will work to improve the scale, skill and speed of the state, while stressing that the manifesto is a serious document for the BJP unlike with some other political parties.
In its manifesto, the BJP has promised that each and every citizen of the state will be covered under a group insurance policy. Also, 50 lakh houses will be constructed in the next five years - 28 lakh housing units in rural areas, 22 lakh in urban areas.
"Before the last elections, we had promised 20 lakh houses and before this polls, we are promising 50 lakh houses," Modi said.
The BJP under Modi aims to address the needs of a new socio-economic group termed as the ‘neo middle class’, which has risen above the poverty line but cannot yet be categorised as middle class.
“The economic progress in the last ten years has developed a neo middle class; we aim to define the neo middle class and work to address their problems,” Modi said.
Modi further said, “In the next five years, our plan is to make Gujarat the leading textile producer in the country.”
For the agriculture sector, the manifesto promises that all dams in the draught hit Saurashtra region will have Narmada water in 3 years. 16 lakh hectares of land will be irrigated in next the 5 years besides ensuring that all farm electricity connections to be cleared immediately.
The manifesto pledged to strengthen agricultural infrastructure and said, if voted to power again, the government would bear 3 per cent of the 7 per cent interest paid by farmers who took agricultural loans.
The BJP has also promised agro processing and cold storage units in all districts. On the power front, the manifesto says that power generation in Gujarat – already a power surplus state - will double in next 5 years and that Gujarat to be world leader in non conventional power generation.
The BJP also promised new multi-speciality hospitals in Surat, Rajkot and Vadodara.
Emphasising the BJP’s focus on youth development, Modi said that his government will stand as guarantor for all those who aim to take bank loans for self-employment. Importantly, the age limit for government jobs will be raised to 28 years from the present 25, the BJP promised.
Claiming that annual Vibrant Gujarat Summits aimed at attracting investment for industries were a big success, Modi said now other states were also organising such events.
"Now we will organise a bi-annual world agriculture fare to help farmers learn new technology," Modi said reaching out to the state`s large farming community.
BJP manifesto also promised to increase drinking water availability.
The manifesto said the BJP government was committed to establishing Gujarat’s identity as a "Green" state for which it would set up a Lake and Wetland Development Authority to check pollution and develop the numerous lakes existing in and around villages.
It also said 13 Special Investment Regions (SIR) would be developed and Gujarat would be turned into a fully gas-based economy.
The document said a Right to Services Act would be put in place on the lines of the law enacted by BJP government in Madhya Pradesh to guarantee time-bound delivery of services.
(With PTI inputs)