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After four ‘guarantees’, Karnataka Congress promises free travel for women in public transport buses


Mangaluru: Announcing the fifth poll ‘guarantee’ of the Congress ahead of the May 10 Assembly polls in Karnataka, party leader Rahul Gandhi on Thursday promised free travel for women in public transport buses, if the party is voted to power in the state. Rahul Gandhi is in Udupi, campaigning for the party’s candidates in the upcoming elections.

He hit out at Prime Minister Narendra Modi for saying that the Congress would not fulfil its guarantees. ‘PM says Congress party will not fulfil its guarantees. We have given you (people) four guarantees and they will be implemented on the first day, in the first cabinet meeting. Modi ji, you said four guarantees will not be fulfilled, I’m adding more to it. We will not fulfil four guarantees on the first day, but will fulfil five’, Gandhi said. Addressing a public meeting, he said, ‘We will add another guarantee to four existing guarantees. It will be for women. Modi ji, listen carefully. As soon as Congress comes to power, on the very first day the fifth guarantee will also be implemented — women across Karnataka will travel free in public transport buses’.

‘Your (BJP) people looted money from Karnataka’s women with 40% commission, it is your work. While our work is to give Karnataka’s women the state’s money. So immediately after winning the election, whenever you meet a woman in buses, they would not be paying a single rupee to travel in buses’, he added. Congress has already announced four ‘guarantees’ – 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), and Rs 3,000 every month for graduate youth and Rs 1,500 for diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi), on coming to power in the state.

Asking the voters to limit the BJP to 40 seats in the state, as they were a party that ran a ‘40% commission government’, Gandhi said, ‘The number is comfortable for them’. He alleged that the BJP had made ‘stealing’ a habit and were betraying all sections of people including the youth, farmers and fishermen. The BJP could not provide employment to the youth as promised. Inflation increased under the BJP rule and several small-scale industries were closed during the regime, he said. A decision on all the promises in the Congress guarantee card would be made at the first cabinet meeting of the next government, Gandhi said, adding that the Narendra Modi government had not kept any of its promises including providing two crore jobs for the youth in a year and Rs 15 lakh to every household by rooting out corruption.

Congress’ fifth poll promise, interestingly, came on a day, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressing Karnataka BJP workers virtually made a strong pitch for ending ‘revdi culture’ (culture of distributing freebies). Accusing the Congress of engaging in ‘revdi culture’ in Himachal Pradesh and Rajasthan, Prime Minister Modi said their poll guarantees have still remained unfulfilled. ‘Congress means guarantee of corruption, guarantee of nepotism,’ he had said. ‘Congress has reached a stage where it cannot give true guarantees, you are aware that Congress’s warranty has expired, then what is the meaning of its guarantees’, he added.


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