The ongoing State Assembly Elections in 2023 hold significant importance as they serve as a precursor to the Lok Sabha Elections in May 2024. With the elections in Rajasthan scheduled for November 25th, both the Congress and BJP have unveiled ambitious election manifestos as part of their campaign strategies. These manifestos outline various promises and commitments made by the parties to appeal to the voters, setting the stage for a closely watched electoral battle.
Farmers and Agriculture:
A crucial aspect of the manifesto addresses agricultural concerns. The Congress vows to establish a Minimum Support Price (MSP) law based on comprehensive research, guaranteeing appropriate profits for farmers. The proposal for interest-free agricultural loans up to Rs. 2 lakh from Cooperative Banks demonstrates the party’s commitment to supporting farmers financially. Additionally, the party emphasizes the implementation of the East Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) to uplift the state’s agricultural landscape.
Whereas the BJP promises substantial support for farmers. The Financial assistance under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi Scheme to be increased to ₹12,000 annually for all farmers in Rajasthan. Additionally, the party plans to launch a ₹20,000 crore Agro Infrastructure Mission, building sorting and grading units, cold chain chambers, warehouses, and processing centers across the state. The commitment to purchasing wheat above the MSP and ensuring a bonus is notable, along with initiatives to support the cultivation of jowar and millet. The completion of the Eastern Rajasthan Canal Project (ERCP) and the launch of a Camel Conservation and Development Mission are also emphasized.
Women’s Safety and Empowerment:
The Congress party places a strong emphasis on women’s safety, proposing measures such as CCTV cameras in public places, security guards in villages and urban areas, and reduced investigation times for sexual assault cases. The introduction of a “telephone with internet connection” enhances communication and safety. One of the prominent promises of the congress party is the annual honorarium of Rs 10,000 to women heads of families, recognizing their pivotal role in households. Additionally, the party plans to provide LPG cylinders at an affordable rate of Rs 500 to 1.05 crore families, easing the financial burden on households. The unique initiative to purchase dung for Rs 2 per kg aims to support rural economies.
The BJP’s manifesto places significant emphasis on creating a safe and empowered society for women. The Laado Protsahan Yojana, Chief Minister Free Scooty Scheme, and Lakhpati Didi Yojana are designed to provide financial incentives and skill development opportunities for girls and women. The proposal to establish three women police battalions and increase financial assistance under PM Matru Vandana Yojana demonstrates a commitment to enhance the well-being of women.
Education and Youth:
For students entering government colleges, the Congress promises either a laptop or tablet, boosting their access to technology. In the education sector, the commitment to English-medium school education indicates a focus on providing quality learning experiences. The youth are a priority, with plans to create 10 lakh employment opportunities in five years, including substantial government job openings. A novel approach involves merging Panchayat-level recruitment schemes with government agencies, ensuring grassroots employment.
BJP’s vision for education involves the establishment of the Rajasthan Institute of Technology and Rajasthan Institute of Medical Sciences in every division, annual assistance to economically weaker students, and the creation of the Rajasthan Sports Modernization Mission. The promise to provide 2.5 lakh government jobs over the next five years is a substantial commitment to addressing youth employment.
In health, the Congress plans to increase insurance coverage and facilities at the district and block levels, with a notable inclusion of ‘In vitro fertilization’ in the Chiranjeevi Insurance Scheme to support those facing infertility issues.
Whereas BJP focuses on Healthcare initiatives which include the Bhamashah Health Infrastructure Mission, the establishment of 350 new Jan Aushadhi Kendras, and the addition of 6000 seats in medical courses. BJP’s manifesto also outlines plans for efficient administration and law enforcement, with a focus on addressing corruption, ensuring fair compensation for farmers, and establishing special investigation teams. Also special focus on recruiting 15000 Doctors and 20000 para medical staff.
Urban Development and Good Governance:
The Congress proposes the establishment of a special urban development authority to promote the integrated development of interconnected cities.
To ensure good governance, the introduction of the ‘Accountability and Auto Service Delivery Act‘ is promised. BJP has promised to transform Jaipur, Udaipur, Kota, Ajmer, Bharatpur, Jodhpur and Bikaner into smart cities with the help of the Central Government. Also 24 x 7 electricity in the households. Extension of the Jaipur Metro and also will work on a master plan for setting up Metros in the important cities of the State.
Economic Growth, Labour and Small Business:
The Congress manifesto includes provisions for equal social and economic rights through surveys and insurance coverage. The Congress promises to raise daily wages for rural and urban employment guarantee schemes. Small entrepreneurs, shopkeepers, and young entrepreneurs will benefit from the “Business Credit Card Scheme,” providing loans of up to 5 lakh rupees without collateral. The party also pledges to enact an “Anti-Trafficking Law” to protect the rights of auto and taxi drivers.
The BJP manifesto also covers plans for overall development, welfare measures, strong infrastructure, and economic revival. The commitment to making Rajasthan a $350 billion economy, setting up an Economic Revival Task Force, and organizing an annual investment summit showcases the party’s dedication to economic growth.
Other Development Promises:
Congress party promises to connect villages with populations exceeding 100 by roads to enhance rural connectivity. The implementation of the Rs 500 per Cylinder Scheme for National Food Security Act (NFSA) and BPL families, along with facilitating the installation of a Rs 400 LPG gas cylinder, aims to provide essential relief to economically disadvantaged households. It has also promised equal social welfare for all sections of society, for which the Congress plans to conduct a caste census based on the actual population. This initiative aims to formulate policies that cater to the specific needs of different communities.
In the tourism sector, the BJP proposes the creation of Regional Heritage Centers, museums, art centers, and a Tourism Skills Fund. The development plans aim to preserve and showcase the rich cultural heritage of various regions in the state. Establishment of the great museum of Jyotiba Phule and great statues of Maharana Sanga ji.
In Conclusion, the Congress Party’s election manifesto for Rajasthan encompasses a comprehensive array of promises, spanning women’s empowerment, education, agriculture, youth employment, health, social welfare, and infrastructure development. These guarantees reflect a holistic approach to addressing the diverse needs of the state’s population. On the other hand, BJP’s election manifesto for Rajasthan presents a comprehensive roadmap for the development of the state, addressing the needs of farmers, women, youth, healthcare, tourism, and overall economic growth. The success of these promises will depend on effective implementation and collaboration with the central government. On November 25th, the state of Rajasthan will cast its votes to choose the next government, considering the promises outlined above. The results, revealing which party has resonated the most with the voters, will be awaited until December 3rd.