BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to outdo the BJD — which has become enemy number one after breaking of the alliance — the BJP today went a step ahead by promising Re 1-a-kg rice, free salt and dal at Rs 5-a-kg to all BPL families if the party comes to power.
Releasing the party manifesto here, national general secretary Arun Jaitley told mediapersons that the promise to provide rice at Re 1-akg is not a populist slogan but an assurance of ‘right to food’.
‘Right to food is right to life,’ he said and added that the Rs 2-a-kg rice scheme was first introduced by the party in Chhattisgarh during the NDA rule.
Since Orissa has become food surplus, there will be no problem of providing the specially subsidised rice to the poor people if his party comes to power, he added.
Jaitley hinted that the ‘right to food’ will be part of the party’s national manifesto.
Presently, about 57 lakh BPL families are provided with rice at Rs 2-akg and the BJD in its manifesto has promised to continue the scheme if it came to power.
Post-alliance break-up, the BJP is particularly finding it difficult to digest the BJD claiming the sole credit for the Rs 2-a-kg rice scheme as the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Department was in the BJP share when the coalition was intact.
The BJP has promised moon for the farming community which is about 80 percent of the total population.
An additional bonus of Rs 250 which will be over and above the minimum support price of the Centre.
Promising a liberalised agriculture policy, the manifesto said that farm loan will carry a maximum interest of three percent.
The loanee farmers will not have to pay any interest in the first year.
One percent interest will be charged in the first year and the interest rate will increase by one percent each in the next two years.
It will introduce farmers’ pension scheme, insurance cover to farmers and agri-products, free electricity for agricultural purpose and many more.