The Congress on December 4 released its 60-page People's Manifesto 2017 for the crucial Gujarat elections which will be held in two phases on December 9 and 14.
The manifesto, released in Ahmedabad by Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot and Bharatsinh Solanki, had its prime focus on Patel quota, a stipend to youth until employment, loan waivers for farmers, houses for landless women and several other issues that had led to unrest in the state.
The party promised to pay unemployment allowance up to Rs 4000 for every unemployed youth, and said that it would also request the GST council to exempt small traders with an annual turnover up to Rs 1.50 crore. The manifesto also promised quota benefits for unreserved communities without changing the present reservation formula.
The party manifesto also promised reservation to the Patidaars under the Economically Backward Classes category. The manifesto said that without making any changes to the already 49% reservation for the backward communities, the Congress will introduce a bill in the Assembly under article 46 of the Constitution and keeping in view the provisions of Article 31 (c) for the non-reserved communities category.
The Manifesto also said that special investigation teams will be set up to probe corruptions of the BJP Government.
Addressing the farmers the party manifesto promised loan waivers for farmers, free water for irrigation and 16-hour electricity during the daytime, along with crop insurance, bonus for special crops.
Women empowerment also found a prominent space in the party's People Manifesto - 2017 as the party promised that houses will be given to all women from every community. 100% free education from primary to higher education will also be provided to all girls of all communities among others are the party's main agenda for women empowerment.
The party also promised free education from pre-primary to PHD to all students from poor to middle-class families to ensure quality education.
Addressing the need for better healthcare the party manifesto promised to provide Sardar Patel Universal Healthcare Card and free medicines.
For minorities, State minority commission will be constituted as per the manifesto.
Along with the aforementioned features, the manifesto has also addressed issues on social security, construction of fast-track courts, issues about rural development, food security and equal work, equal pay, minimum wages for labourers.
It is yet to be seen if the angst as claimed by the opposition and three activist leaders, Jignesh Mevani, Alpesh Thakore and Hardik Patel will hold relevance in the Gujarat Election and if the BJP will lose power in Gujarat where it has been the ruling party for four terms already.