Himachal polls: BJP promises slew of sops to woo voters

Last Updated: Mon, Oct 22, 2012 12:20 hrs

Shimla, Oct 22 (IANS) The BJP in Himachal Pradesh Monday tried to woo voters by announcing that if the party returns to power it would provide free electric induction plates to every household to replace LPG, apart from a slew of sops.

Releasing the election manifesto here, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said: "People would benefit from the induction plates as electricity is very cheap in the state."

The chief minister also tried to woo the youth by announcing creation of 10 lakh jobs in the government, public and private sectors.

To counter the opposition Congress's promise to bring foreign direct investment in the multi-brand retail sector, the BJP said refrigerated vans would be provided for marketing of fruits and vegetables.

For daily wagers, the BJP has promised to increase the daily wage to Rs.250 from Rs.150.

Likewise, widow and social security pension will be increased from Rs.450 to Rs.650 per month.

The party promises to provide free medicines to all government hospitals, continuation of subsidised rations for over 16 lakh ration card holders, agricultural loans at two percent on government guarantee and facility for free religious tours once in a year to all senior citizens.

In the education sector, the BJP promises opening of law and Sanskrit universities, free school bags with a dictionary to government school students and extension of free laptop scheme.

A small trader with a turnover up to Rs.10 lakh would be exempted from value added tax (VAT). Every unemployed youth would be given a loan up to Rs.1 lakh at two percent interest and pension of senior citizens would be increased by five percent for those above 65 years of age, 10 percent for those above 75 years and 20 percent for people aged above 80 years.

The hill state will go to the polls Nov 4 and votes will be counted Dec 20, after the Gujarat assembly polls are over.

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