The Congress manifesto for the Punjab assembly elections was released today by former Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh in New Delhi. The manifesto was released simultaneously in six other cities of the state.

Besides the key promise of working to end VVIP culture, the manifesto also says if elected, the Congress government will provide meals at Rs. 5 for the poor, loan waiver for the farmers, job to every household, free education to girls, 33% reservation to women in all government jobs, and an end to the drugs menance in the state. All this, along with several sweeping legislative and police reforms, will be done within four weeks of coming to power, the manifesto says.

The manifesto lists out a series of promises the party will implement when elected to power. These include:

Ending VIP culture
Abolishing red beacon lights except on emergency vehicles
90% cut in security personnel for politicians and officials
2-year ban on foreign travel except where mandatory

Punjab river water for people of the state only
No new canal construction, including Sutlej-Yamuna Link, to be allowed
Intra-state river water distribution and infrastructure to be strengthened

War against drugs

Zero tolerance policy for smugglers, peddlers, police officers, politicians, bureaucrats or the public indulging in drug trafficking
Fast-track courts to try out cases under the NDPS Act
Confiscation of Drug Dealers’ Property Act within 30 days of assuming power
Closure of 5% liquor vends every year

Employment generation
One lakh taxis, commercial and other vehicles per year to be provided to unemployed youth at subsidised rates
25000 tractors with other tools for unemployed youth
Job in every household through creation of new jobs over 5 years
Unemployment allowance of Rs. 2,500 per month to those registered with the bureaus till job is provided

Industry and Trade
Electricity tariff for industry to be frozen at Rs. 5/unit for next 5 years

Agriculture and Allied Occupations
Karza Maufi – loan waiver
Continuation of free power to farmers
New law to prevent sale and kurki of farmers’ land by lending agencies
Farmers’ pension scheme raising ex-gratia to families of suicide victims to Rs. 10 lakh
Increase in crop compensation, crop insurance

For Dalits, OBCs and Minorities
Free house or 5 marla land to homeless families in these categories which have an annual income less than Rs. 5 lakh
Strict enforcement of reservation in government jobs for Scheduled Caste families, job for at least one person in every such family
Increase in government job reservation for OBCs from 12% to 15%
Reservation for Other Backward Castes in educational institutions to be doubled from 5 to 10%

Regularization of jobs for all contractual teachers and redressal of teachers’ grievances

Women Empowerment
33% reservation for women in all government jobs including contractual appointments
Free education for girls for Class I to PhD
Crisis centres in all districts to help women affected by domestic violence

The manifesto further promises extensive power reforms in the state, infrastructure development, environment protection, promotion of Punjabiat, along with measures for cooperatives, street vendors, labourers, safai karamcharis, pensioners and senior citizens. Jewellers and defence personnel, as well as lambardars, chowkidars, FPS/ration depot holders and aided school teachers have also been offered something in the manifesto.