The Congress on Tuesday released its manifesto for the Rajasthan Assembly elections, promising a caste survey, quota in “contract employments contracted by the government”, and extending reservations to office-bearers of cooperative societies.
It also committed to providing reservation to minorities proportionate to their population after the caste Census.
The ruling Congress is fighting the elections to become the first incumbent party since 1993 to return to power. The Congress has campaigned for the November 25 polling on the back of its ‘seven guarantees’, some of which it further tweaked in its manifesto.
For example, it promised to provide poor families with cooking gas cylinders at Rs 400, instead of the current Rs 500 to 10.5 million households. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), in its manifesto released last week, also promised several welfare measures to match the Congress guarantees.
Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot said the size of Rajasthan’s economy would be Rs 1.5 trillion by the end of this year and Rs 3 trillion by 2030. The manifesto claimed Rajasthan’s per capita income has increased by 46.48 per cent, and the state was now ranked 12th in the country from 30th during the BJP rule and tax revenue has increased significantly.
The Congress promises to double the health cover under its free Chiranjeevi Health Insurance scheme from Rs 25 lakh to Rs 50 lakh annually, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) treatment under the scheme. The manifesto promises interest-free loans up to Rs 5 lakh to small traders and jobs for youngsters. The party also proposed to create a cadre for Panchayati Raj Institutions just like state and central services and introduce a policy for recruitment at the panchayat level.
The manifesto promised interest-free loans up to Rs 2 lakh from cooperative banks and a minimum support price guarantee Act in line with the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations. The party promised 150-day rural and urban employment in place of present 125 days annually, inclusion of autorickshaw and taxi drivers in gig workers Act and an accountability and auto service delivery Act for accountable and good governance.
The Congress’ guarantees include an annual honorarium of Rs 10,000 to women heads of family, purchase of dung from cattle rearers for Rs 2 per kg, a law for the old pension scheme (OPS) for government employees, a laptop or tablet to students taking admission in government colleges, insurance cover up to Rs 15 lakh per family to compensate losses due to natural calamities, and free school education in English medium.
Assets of recontesting MLAs rise up to 19,990%
According to an Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) analysis, the average assets of 173 re-contesting MLAs in Rajasthan have increased from Rs 7.1 crore in 2018 to Rs 9.97 crore in 2023, an average increase of Rs 2.86 crore or average percentage growth of 40 per cent. Of 173, assets of 161 MLAs (93 per cent) have increased ranging from 1 per cent to 19,990 per cent, and assets of 12 MLAs (7 per cent) have decreased ranging from -1 per cent to -57 per cent. Rajasthan assembly has 200 seats.