BJP promises a new regional plan, sops for housewives

Special Correspondent
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Ravi Shankar Prasad says the language row will be resolved

Making promises:Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party releasing the party's election manifesto in Goa on Sunday.
Making promises:Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party releasing the party's election manifesto in Goa on Sunday.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Sunday released its election manifesto for the March 3 Assembly elections by reiterating its stand on contentious medium of instruction issue (MoI) favouring government grants to primary schools in regional languages, but promising to resolve the MoI imbroglio over grants to English-medium primary schools by an amicable solution.

The manifesto officially released at a city hotel by the BJP chief spokesman Ravi Shankar Prasad, along with local leaders, said: “BJP subscribes to the universal scientific principle of primary education in the mothertongue. However, keeping in view problems faced by a number of schools because of faulty and legally infirm policy of the Congress Government and the sentiments of certain sections of the population, the BJP assures an amicable solution.”

The reference here is to the present problem faced by managements of primary schools following half-hearted implementation of the Congress Government's changed policy to give grant-in-aid to primary schools with English as medium of instruction. The BJP, which is all out to woo Catholic voters in the present election, is aware that the change of medium of instruction grants policy had taken place bowing to the pressure of parents who sought the right to decide the medium of instruction for their children.

Moreover, Diocese schools were the major beneficiaries of the decision but are caught in a bind as the changeover of medium of instruction in their schools in pursuit of government grants was part of a court case. BJP leader Manohar Parrikar promised to resolve the matter through an amicable solution.

Mr. Parrikar said some sections of people feel that they have the right to decide the medium of instruction of their children. The party has no issue with that.

“On the issue of grants, we will talk to the schools and work out a solution without scarifying our view point over scientific universal principle of primary education to be in mother tongue,” he said.

The party has promised the appointment of a Lokayukta in the State in 100 days of coming to power to take care of mounting corruption.

On the other contentious issue of illegal mining, Mr. Parrikar said to avoid being called vindictive, the BJP, if it came to power, would handover the cases of illegal mining to the Lokayukta for action.

Mr. Prasad intervened to say that there was a model of governance of UPA where people were only victimised. To avert this, the BJP Government would pursue the cases of corruption and illegal mining in a fair, just, and reasonable manner through the Lokayukta.

The BJP manifesto made several promises such as reduction in the prices of petrol by Rs. 11 a litre, unemployment allowance to citizens once the party was elected to power in the State, affordable houses to all, and so on.

The party said that housewives would be given an allowance of Rs. 1,000 a month to fight the price rise, a scheme to deposit Rs. 1 lakh as marriage expenses in the bank account of a girl child once she completes 18 years of age. The party has promised to enhance the existing social security pension for senior citizens and other weaker sections of society.

On the issue of mining, the party has said that 60 per cent of the mining royalty would be spent on the development of infrastructure and environment revitalisation. The party had assured dedicated mining corridors in mining areas within 30 months.

In agriculture, the party had promised to regulate the sale of agricultural land through legislation.

On another issue over which public sentiments were high, the BJP promised to scrap Regional Plan 2021 and to go in for a new land use plan in consultation with all stakeholders, including non-governmental organisations, gram sabhas, and professionals.

Goa to be made plastic free within three years, said the manifesto. The party has promised to set up a Minority Commission and promised a minimum pension of Rs. 2,500 to seamen along with insurance and a Commissionerate for seafarers.

The BJP, which is fighting the election in alliance with regional outfit of MGP, would come out with a common minimum programme for governance in the next few days. Asked about the failure of the party to put up even a single woman candidate, Mr. Parrikar apologised and promised to work to have a winnable woman candidate by next election.

  • Housewives will be given Rs. 1,000 a month

  • The BJP has promised to scrap Regional Plan 2021




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