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The Congress on Friday sounded the poll bugle in Assam by announcing waiver of farm debts and microfinance loans for women, implementation of minimum income guarantee scheme ‘Nyay’, free electricity up to 120 units for the poor and middle class and ensure at least one job for each family.
The sops for Assam where assembly election is due in March-April this year were announced by state Congress president Ripun Bora during an interaction with media persons here.
The condition of farmers in the state is deplorable as the cost of production is very high and, without getting the Minimum Support Price (MSP), they are forced to go for distress sale.
If the Congress comes to power in the state, it will waive the farmers’ debt like “it has been done by the party’s governments in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, Punjab and also in Madhya Pradesh earlier under Kamal Nath,” Bora said.
People in villages, particularly women, take loans from microfinance organisations and face immense harassment, he said.
A Bill has been unanimously passed in the just-concluded assembly session to protect economically vulnerable people, particularly women, from microfinance institutions and money lenders.
“We do not have any issue with it (the Bill), but women's empowerment is a priority for the party and when we come to power, many micro-finance loans for women will be waived,” he said.
Bora said that the Congress will also implement the minimum income guarantee scheme ‘Nyuntam Aay Yojana’ (Nyay) which was included in the party’s manifesto in the last Lok Sabha polls.
“Power supply is a major issue in the state and its price has increased though the income of people has not. If the Congress comes to power, it will provide relief to maximum people with 120 units of free electricity to nearly 60 lakh poor and middle-class families,” Bora said.
Unemployment is a major problem in the state and though the BJP had promised 25 lakh jobs to the youth, this has turned out to be an “election jumla” as nearly one lakh posts are now lying vacant, he claimed.
The Congress will adopt the policy of ‘One Family, One Job’ and though there will be a proper recruitment policy according to merit, “we will ensure that we can provide jobs,” the state Congress president said.
Nobody should doubt that these announcements are “mere election promises, but everyone should rest assured that the Congress knows how to manage the economy,” he said.
The Congress is also committed to protecting communal harmony, which is a part of the exceptional social fabric of the state, and not divide people based on religion, community and language as the BJP is doing since assuming power, Bora said.
“The BJP’s prime agenda is to emotionally exploit people and assume power by dividing people as the British did. Our sole objective is not to capture power but ensure the welfare of all people,” he said.
He, however, said that he did not want to attack the BJP and talk about negative things on the first day of the new year and highlighted the positive steps that the Congress would take for the people of the state. (PTI)