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With voting for the first phase of the Gujarat Assembly election 2017 to begin in a few hours, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday finally came up with its manifesto. Finance minister Arun Jaitley and Union Minister For Law and Justice Ravi Shankar Prasad released the party's vision document, without any extravagant promises, and focused on overall inclusive development. Jaitley took a dig at Rahul Gandhi, who ascends as the Congress President, and said he was trying to woo the social composition of KHAM (Kshatriyas, Harijans, Adivasis, and Muslims). He said, "BJP will always stand against jaativaad (casteism), sampradayvaad (communalism) and vanshvaad (dynastic politics)," according to a report by the Indian Express. In its latest manifesto, BJP has come up with some vital pointers and moved forward from its 2012 slogan of “Sauno Saath, Sauno Vikas (inclusive growth with collective efforts)” to “Avirath Vikas, Adikham Vikas (continuous development, total development).” Here are the key points of the BJP's manifesto for the Gujarat Assembly election, 2017: Housing and infrastructure development, smart villages: The BJP reinforced its 2012 promise of constructing houses, but this time the party has not specified numbers and timeline details. Like 'smart city', the party also promises to design 'smart villages'. The BJP also promises the construction of pucca houses for poor families.
Fortifying its envisioned 'Swachh Bharat Mission', the party has promised to build toilets in every house.For its urban voters, the manifesto promises timely implementation of 'smart city' projects, and multi-level parking lots, besides metro-rail projects in Surat and Vadodara and piped natural gas connection to every household. Pro- Farmers vows: According to a report in The Hindu, one of the key takeaways from the BJP's manifesto is that the party has promised to 'double' farmers' income by adopting measures like cheap fertilisers and seeds, minimum support prices, and direct access to food processing and industries. Health care: By 2022, the BJP manifesto promises to make Gujarat free from 'vector-borne' disease. It also vows to construct multispeciality hospitals in Surat, Vadodara, and Rajkot and provide for an allowance of Rs 2 lakh as medical insurance for middle-class families. Generic medical shops and 252 mobile clinics and laboratories will also be opened, the manifesto says. Education: According to a report by the Economic Times, the BJP has vowed to promote 'quality education' in the state, by introducing 'international-level universities'. To upgrade the quality of rural and district-level education, the manifesto also promises 'Tribal-welfare Board'and Ádhivasi University'. Ther arlso are vows for free higher education for girls, and a scholarship fund for poor students. Women: The manifesto promises an increase in pension for widows. Gauraksha: The BJP manifesto has an anticipated promise of protecting cows from slaughter, and it promises strict enforcement of the relevant law. The Indian Express writes the steps would be taken to protect Gir and Kankrej bovine species, in order to safeguard the Hindu sentiments. Promoting unity in society: The manifesto promises to end divides among castes and communities by doubling the provision for Thakur and Koli Development Corporation. The BJP also promises aid for Dalit industrialists and to build a grand memorial of Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel in Karamsad. Industrial sector: The manifesto mentions the formation of policies for semiconductors and telecommunications industries, lower interest rates for MSMEs, a push for exports, and setting up of marine product laboratories, besides hawking zones for vendors operating on carts. The second phase of the polling for the Gujarat Assembly election 2017 will take place on December 14, and the final result will be declared on December 18 after counting of votes cast in both the phases. The Congress party had released its manifesto five days before voting in the first phase.