BHUBANESWAR: In a determined bid to return to power after 19 years, Congress on Sunday released its manifesto for Odisha with promises for all sections of people including farm loan waiver and minimum support price (MSP) of `2,600 for paddy.
Releasing the manifesto at Congress Bhawan here in presence of AICC secretary G Rudra Raju, president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik said it has been prepared after months of consultation and discussion with all stakeholders. “It is a comprehensive document which covers all aspects of Odisha and represents people from every walk of life,” he said.
The manifesto, which has 19 key points, promises special assistance of `10,000 per year for three years for farmers and assures to give sharecroppers their rights. Giving guarantee of a monthly income of `6,000 per month for 20 per cent of the poorest under Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), the manifesto promises a job to a member of every family in the State and monthly allowance of `3,000 for the jobless.
Stating that all contractual workers will be regularised, the manifesto also announces land for every landless family and shelter for every homeless by 2024. Other promises include monthly pension of `1,500 for senior citizens and `2,000 for widows.
Following Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik’s initiative for empowerment of women, Congress also promises 33 per cent quota for women in Parliament, State Assembly and all Government jobs. Promising free education for women at all levels and marriage assistance to needy families, the manifesto says anganwadi workers will be regularised with a salary of `9,000 per month. In a bid to placate the tribals, the manifesto announces that all forest offence cases against them will be dropped and promises full implementation of PESA Act, 1996. Besides, gram sabhas will be entrusted with the responsibility to manage forests.
Patnaik announced that the Right To Education (RTE) Act will be extended to cover Class XII. Besides, 20 per cent of the State budget will be earmarked for education. Exclusive dalit protection cells and special courts will be set up in every district while manual scavenging will be abolished. Teachers will be given salary on par with Central pay scale, he said. Stating that the public healthcare system will be revamped on a priority basis, the manifesto promises to fill up all vacancies of doctors and nurses in Odisha. The health budget will be increased and every district will have a medical college and a training centre for paramedics and nurses.
Promising universal food security, the Congress said there will be subsidised ration for all. Every village and urban household will have access to drinking water by 2024. An Integrated Coastline Development Policy will also be formulated to harness the potential of Odisha’s coastline, it said.
The manifesto announced that MGNREGA will be revamped with higher wages and 150 days of guaranteed employment. “Our aim is to end distress migration by 2024,” Patnaik said. Reports of all pending judicial inquiries will be made public and victims of chit fund scam will be refunded within six months of Congress coming to power in the State.