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BJP Not Doing Freebie Politics, Politics of Handouts is Passé: Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar

by Dul Many
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The Bharatiya Janata Party is not indulging in so-called freebie politics, Rajeev Chandrasekhar, the Union Minister of State for Electronics & Information Technology and Skill Development & Entrepreneurship, said on May 5.

“Certainly our manifesto doesn’t compare at all with what the Congress has done. We have not done any freebie politics,” the minister, who was the keynote speaker at the Moneycontrol Policy Next – The Big Karnataka Resurgence event in Bengaluru, said. “Ours is not a party nor is our government vested on the idea that we will give things to people in return for their votes. We have a development vision.”

People are looking for a better future and not for handouts, the minister said fireside chat with Moneycontrol Deputy Editor Shweta Punj.

The politics of handouts or buying votes by giving some crumbs is the politics of the 70s and the Congress has not made transition to politics of aspirations, he added.

However, Aiyshwarya Mahadev, General Secretary – Media & Communications, Indian National Congress, Karnataka, said that after the pandemic, people have gone back to the conversation of food, clothing, and shelter.

Karnataka goes to the polls on May 10, with the result in the key southern state impacting the national mood in the run up to the next year’s general elections.

Over the last year or so, Indian politicians have been trading barbs over freebies being offered by their opponents. Freebies are broadly defined as a public welfare measure that is provided free of charge.

The freebies

The BJP’s manifesto, made public on May 1, promises free provision of three cooking gas cylinders per year to below-poverty-line families, a scheme through which these families will get half a litre of milk per day and five kilograms of ration per month, and matching deposits made by women of SC, ST households of up to Rs 10,000 for a period of up to five years.

It also promises higher subsidy for dairy farmers and millet cultivation, free transportation of farm, dairy, and horticultural products from villages to urban markets, free annual health check-ups for senior citizens, increase in pensions for widows to Rs 2,000 per month from Rs 800, and the most striking of them all – a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 to poor families to undertake travels to places of religious importance such as Tirupati and Ayodhya.

Congress promises 200 units of free electricity per household, free bus travel for women, an unemployment benefit of Rs 3,000 per month to jobless graduates, and interest-free loans to women to buy two cows or buffalos. Further, police officials on night duty will get a special allowance of Rs 5,000 per month as well as one month’s extra salary.

Janata Dal (Secular) offers Rs 2 lakh cash incentive to brides of young farmers, five free cooking gas cylinders per year, and loan waivers for women self-help groups; Aam Aadmi Party – free electricity to the tune of 300 units, free bus travel for students, and a one-time loan waiver for small farmers.

Source : MoneyControl

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