Himachal Polls: Jobs, farm loans top Cong manifesto

RSTV Bureau

virbhadraFacing a stiff anti-incumbency and a strong BJP, the ruling Congress in Himachal Pradesh on Wednesday released its manifesto, promising to strengthen the farm sector by granting interest-free loans to farmers, creation of 1.50 lakh jobs in the government sector and free laptops to 50,000 college students.

Restoration of the pre-2004 pension scheme, regularisation of contract employees after two years, enhanced daily wages, social security pension and appointment of anti-corruption grievances commissioner were the other promises made in the manifesto.

The 68-member Himachal Pradesh assembly goes to polls on November 9. Results will be out month later on December 18.

The manifesto released by Chief minister Virbhadra Singh in the presence of senior Congress leader Sushil Kumar Shinde and state ministers.

Chief Minister, who is battling corruption case in Delhi High Court, claimed his government of fulfilling “95 per cent of poll promises”. Singh said his government has ensured speedy and uniform development of the entire state which is visible on the ground and development and welfare of all sections of people would be the main poll plank.

State minister Kaul Singh said the Congress provided government jobs to 75,000 youth during the present term and 1.50 lakh jobs would be given in the next five years.

Speaking to reporters, Virbhadra Singh said the BJP’s decision to field veteran and two-term chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal would have no impact on prospects of the Congress.

(With inputs from PTI)