Like DMK, Cong woos voters with free Colour TVs, other sops

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Bangalore, Apr 9 (UNI) Emulating the DMK in Tamil Nadu, the Congress in Karnataka, which is seeking to come back to power in the state on its own, today wooed voters by promising free colour TV sets to green ration card holders and farm loans at 3 per cent interest rate if it won the coming assembly polls.

It also announced to provide 15 lakh houses to the homeless and 25 kg of rice every month at Rs two to all Below Poverty Line families.

Giving the gist of the party's manifesto for the assembly polls, senior leader and the party's Manifesto Committee Chairman C K Jaffer Sharief said the ''poll promises'' were prepared on ''realistic'' parameters and could be delivered.

The manifesto, which had been sent to the party high command in Delhi, would be published in a couple of days, he told reporters.

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

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

Targetting the unemployed youth, the Congress also promised a stipend of Rs 1200 per month for two years to every unemployed youth educated upto the Tenth standard and 15 lakh houses for the homeless in five years.

The other sops on offer include waiver of 'Ashraya' and 'Indira Awas Yojana' housing loans in the next five years.

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

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

Denying that the Congress was copying regional parties, KPCC president Mallikarjuna Kharge said, ''As a national party, the Congress is aware of the problems of the people living Below Poverty Line better than others.'' The Congress was in power along with the Deve Gowda-led JD(S) for 20 months from May 2004 before a section of the JD(S) withdrew support to the Congress and formed an alternative coalition government with the BJP.

UNI MV RS RR GC1908

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