Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Wednesday assured the people of Himachal Pradesh that his Congress party would fulfil all its poll promises such as the restoration of old pension scheme, 300 units of free power and Rs 1,500 per month to women.
Addressing a rally in favour of Congress candidate Vikramaditya Singh here, he appeal to the electorate to say ’Jai Ram’ (goodbye) to Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur and elect a Congress government following the tradition of voting out the incumbent.
”The Congress does what it says. All promises will be fulfilled in Himachal as has been done in Chhattisgarh. Old pension scheme (OPS) is being implemented in Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Jharkhand, and Himachal will be the fourth state to implement it,” he told the gathering.
Questioning the Centre for not releasing the funds of state government employees deposited in the national pension scheme, he said, ”How can the Centre hold on to the funds as the money belongs to the employees of the state and the state government.” The Centre will not be able to stop the release of pension funds for long and the old pension scheme will be restored, he asserted.
The Congress is seeking to wrest power from the BJP in the hill state, where the Congress and the BJP have governed alternately for the past many decades.
Polling in Himachal Pradesh will be held on November 12 and the counting of votes will be taken up on December 8.
Restoration of the old pension scheme, 300 units of free power, a Rs 680-crore StartUp fund, one lakh jobs and Rs 1,500 per month for women aged between 18 and 60 years are among the promises the Congress has made in its manifesto for the Himachal Pradesh polls.
Baghel said the Congress gives money to people and the BJP siphons off the money from their pockets by raising taxes on petrol and diesel and prices of essential commodities.
”Have faith in the Congress, you will get free power, OPS and Rs 1,500 to women to help increase your incomes,” he said while urging people to elect Singh from the Shimla Rural constituency.
Singh is the son of former chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
”All issues are before the people and only a few hours are left for the elections. All have made up their mind, whatever the BJP may say,” he said.
Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge was present at the poll meeting.
Baghel said everyone knows Kharge became the Congress president after an election, but nobody knows when J P Nadda became the BJP president twice. BJP president Nadda hails from Himachal Pradesh.
”Democracy is in the Congress and not in the BJP and people also know that,” he said.
He cited a video that went viral on social media where the prime minister was urging a BJP rebel to step aside, claiming that the BJP has 21 rebels in the fray.
”You have seen BJP’s five years and they have nothing to say to people. No jobs have been given, no airport by Jai Ram ji and time has come to say ’Jai Ram’ (goodbye) to Jai Ram Thakur,” he said.
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