Cong steal the thunder, announces poll promises ahead others

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Bangalore, Apr 9 (UNI) Congress in Karantaka, which is making serious bid to come back to power on its own today offered free colour TV sets, 15 lakh houses, and farm loan at three per cent interest rate, if it was voted to power in the ensuing Assembly elections.

Announcing the gist of the party's manifesto for the coming assembly elections in Karantaka here Senior leader and party's Manifesto Committee chairman C K Jaffer Sharief defended that 'poll promises' dole out today by the party was prepared on 'Realistic' basis and can be delivered.

The manifesto, which had been sent to the party headquarters in Delhi would be published within a couple of days, he told reporters during a press conference.

He said the party would offer farm loans at three per cent interest rate on all loans taken by farmers, women self help groups, potters, handloom weavers, fishermen and shepherds.

The ambit of 'Yashaswini' health insurance scheme would be extended for all green card families, he said.

Targetting the unemployed youth, the Congress also promised a stipend of Rs 1200 per month for 2 years to every unemployed youth who had passed 10th standard, and construct 15 lakh houses to be distributed to homeless in five years. The other sops included waiver of Ashraya and Indira Awas Yojana housing loans in the next five years.

KPCC President Mallikarjuna Kharge, Union minister and party's Karanataka in charge Prithviraj Chavan, senior leaders including S M Krishna and Siddaramaiah, who were also present on the occasion said that party will generate sufficient funds to fulfill the promises.

"We will generate resources and keep our promises," Mr Krishna quipped.

Denying that Congress, in a bid to woo the voters, was copying regional parties poll promises, KPCC president Mallikarjuna Kharge said, "As a national party Congress is aware of the problems of the people living below the poverty line better than others." (Pl pick up suitable from BG 15) UNI MV RS TS1805

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