Whom should you vote for in Punjab
The Punjab assembly elections, a three-way contest between the Congress, incumbent Shiromani Akali Dal-BJP alliance and Aam Aadmi Party, begins tomorrow. Each party has made tall promises in its respective manifesto in a bid to target farmers, traders and youth. In this timeline, we look at the promises made by these parties so you are better informed about whom to vote for.
Parties pledge huge sops for agrarian Punjab's farmers
The AAP promised to make farmers debt free by December 2018. The BJP said it will provide an assistance of Rs. 10 lakh to farmers' families. The Congress said it will give free electricity, a loan waiver and introduce a farmers' pensions scheme. The SAD promised to give free tubewells, free 10 hours electricity daily and Rs. 2 lakhs interest free loans annually.
All parties pledge to make Punjab more business-friendly
The AAP said it will incentivize investment to make Punjab a pre-eminent destination for business and industry. The Congress promised to revamp excise and taxation policy to provide a more level playing field for industries. The SAD said traders with a turnover of up to Rs 2 crore will not require to maintain account books and will be allowed self-certification and pay lumpsum tax.
AAP offers Rs.5 meals, BJP/Congress free housing
The AAP promised to set up Rs.5 meals in Aam Aadmi Canteens in all districts. The BJP has promised free housing, 2kg ghee for Rs.25/kg and 5kg sugar at Rs.10/kg. The Congress has also offered free housing for dalits/SCs/OBCs. The SAD said it'll provide sewerage, water supply, complete concrete roads and gullies, and solar lights to all 12,000 villages in Punjab.
Huge focus on youth employment, Congress offers free smartphones
The AAP said it'll create Punjab Overseas Employment Corporation to promote employment of youth-overseas. Free WiFi hotspots in cities/villages would also be set-up. The Congress has offered a job for every household and an unemployment allowance of Rs.2,500/month. Youth will be given free smartphones. Both Congress and AAP have pledged to create 25 lakh jobs while SAD said it will create 20 lakh jobs.
What parties are offering to students
The AAP said it will give free WiFi hotspots in all government colleges. It said three new medical colleges with training facilities for nursing and paramedics will be set up. Both BJP and Congress have promised free education for girls till Ph.D level. The Congress said it will give free textbooks to students.
Congress promises 33% reservation to women for govt. jobs
The AAP said nursing homes will be reformed to make them independent and powerful, to rehabilitate patients. The BJP said Rs. 5 lakh financial aid will be given to militancy-affected families. It also offered to increase the retirement age to 60. The Congress has offered 33% reservation for women in all government jobs. All parties have pledged to crack down on Punjab's drug menace.