Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Saturday released the party's manifesto for the upcoming Assam Assembly elections which includes five guarantees.The manifesto promised to restart the process of National Register of Citizens (NRC), repeal the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), Rs 365 daily wage to tea garden workers, 5 lakh jobs in five years, Rs 2,000 per month to housewives and 200 units free electricity per household.
Besides the five guarantees, the party would defend the harmony, traditions, language and history of Assam, Gandhi added.
The manifesto named as "Jan Manifesto - 2021" also promised to waive off debt for women who have taken loans from micro-finance banks, agricultural debt would be waived-off for farmers, paper mills like Panchgram and in Jagiroad which have been closed under the BJP regime would be revived, pension to the families of freedom fighters and martyrs of the Assam agitation, language and the CAA movement.
The manifesto also promises to provide 'land patta' (land rights) to those landless people and and to rename southern Assam's Silchar Railway Station as 'Bhasha Swahid Station'.
In Silchar railway station, 11 people were martyred in police firing while agitating demanding recognition of Bengali language as an official language on May 19, 1961.
The main Opposition party, which in alliance with nine other parties has formed a 'Mahajot' (grand alliance) to fight against the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, in its manifesto also assured to provide financial assistance to those holy places - anamghars', amandirs', amosques', achurches', which are 50 year or more old.
The party also announced to accord scheduled caste status to six communities -- Tai Ahom, Moran, Motok, Chutia, Tea-Tribes and Koch-Rajbangshi and the festivals of different tribes and ethnicities like Jonbeel Festival, Karbi Mahotsav will be extended infrastructural facilities along with efforts to make them tourist attractions.
The Congress manifesto also promised to set up digital library in every assembly constituency with all facilities, Gaushalas (cow shed) to be built in each district, model health insurance will be extended to organized and unorganised sector, a corpus fund will be created for lawyers and 5 crore rupees will be extended towards it, the greenery of Assam will be increased by another 15 per cent.
The Congress also promised to start mobile health clinics in poverty stricken regions of cities and villages launch a scholarship in the name of language movement martyr Muzammil Hoque, state olympics will be conducted annually under Assam Olympic Association.
During the manifesto releasing program, Rahul Gandhi lashed out at the RSS and BJP for attacking India's diverse culture, way of thinking, traditions and history. He also slammed the alleged damaged inflicted on the economy by the BJP, including demonetization, "hum-do hamara do sarkar", faulty GST implementation and the farm laws while promising to maintain zero-tolerance against corruption if voted to power.
For the upcoming assembly elections, the Congress has formed a 'Mahajot' or grand alliance with left parties including CPI(M), CPI, and CPI(ML), the All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF), the Anchalik Gana Morcha, Bodoland People's Front (BPF), Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) and two community-based parties Jimochayan (Deori) People's Party (JDPP) and Adivasi National Party (ANP). Congress, which was in power in the state for 15 years starting from 2001, lost to the BJP-led alliance in the 2016 assembly elections.
The Assam Assembly elections would be held in three phases - March 27, April 1 and April 6. The counting will be held on May 2.
(From IANS with edits)