What are political parties promising Goans?
Assembly elections in Goa are finally here. Goa goes to polls tomorrow, February 4, 2017 and key political aspirants like AAP, BJP, Congress and others are in the fray. Most sensitive issues for Goans for these elections include mining, culture protectionism, unemployment and casino industry seen as a hotbed of corruption. Let's take a look at what promises parties made in their manifestos.
Incumbent BJP, under pressure to retain power
Before its 2012 win, BJP swore to close down casinos: post-win, it reneged on its promise. Another crucial promise to halt subsidy to schools whose medium of instruction was English and not local languages, also went unfulfilled, disappointing many.
BJP's promises: Employment, Infra projects, Agro-industries
There is massive anger against BJP for not closing offshore-casinos, failure to end rampant corruption and not creating jobs as promised. However, BJP's 2017 manifesto promises to make Goa "unemployment-free" and promises loans to Agro-based activities at very nominal rates. Introduction of social welfare schemes, completing infra projects, housing for all by 2022 and special focus on intra-city transport are its key promises.
Congress struggling to take lead over BJP
Congress was responsible for offshore-casinos entering Goa in 2000. Cumulative wrath against offshore casinos and illegal mining ensured Congress's defeat in the 2012 assembly elections. Locals believe even in opposition, Congress failed to put up credible performance.
Congress promises: Focus on students, rural, land disputes
Congress promises students 5-litres of free petrol, free coaching through e-courses and confirming employment of longtime contract workers. For rural Goans, Congress promises free water, electricity, subsidized canteens similar to Amma canteens and subsidized wheat and sugar. Congress promises to remove casinos, achieve special status for Goa, grant heritage status to traditional occupations and fast-track land disputes: these are long held grievances/demands by Goans.
AAP promises: Focus on students, women, employment
AAP's anti-corruption stand is a key agenda. AAP has promised 20,000 liters of water/month to every household. It promises to replicate Delhi's mohalla clinics and give massive discounts on electricity. For women, AAP vows to provide Rs. 200,000 for higher education, business or wedding and lifetime monthly stipend of Rs. 3000. Students are promised Rs. 5000/month as unemployment allowance and 50,000 jobs in 5-years.
Who gets your vote?
AAP, the newest entrant, might be favoured by women, students, unemployed and Goans struggling to meet everyday expenses. Congress, might be successful in attracting Goans from rural areas, given its promises of subsidized canteens, groceries and free water and electricity. BJP may appeal to the Goan middle-class as well as urban Goans given their commitment towards e-governance, social welfare schemes and infrastructure projects.