Elections 2019: Mulling over manifestos begins

Bhubaneswar: In the run up to the 2019 elections, major political parties in Odisha have kick-started the exercise of finalising poll manifestos. As per a decision taken by BJP’s manifesto committee led by senior leader Biswabhusan Harichandan, members of the committee will hold meetings at the district level to get suggestions from people at the grassroots. Besides, the party has been collecting feedback through a website.

Sources said the saffron party will finalise the poll manifesto by February 15. Among others, the party is likely promise bonuses to farmers and attractive schemes for women and youth. “Agriculture and farmers will be in focus. Health and education will also be the key areas and emphasis will also be laid on tribals and industries. We hope to prepare a manifesto which would reflect the hopes and wishes of the people of the State,” said Harichandan.

With Congress returning to power in Chhattisgarh after 15 years, the party is aiming to emulate the success story in Odisha.

A team of Chhattisgarh Congress held discussions with the OPCC manifesto committee and the party is likely give priority to farm loan waiver, 5-year financial assistance to farmers, an increase in age-old pension and widow allowance in its final manifesto.

Sources said the party has collected suggestions from 20 districts. Moreover, ideas are also being collected through a mobile app as well, informed party sources.

“We would meet people from rural areas to know their demands and prepare the manifesto accordingly. We would also review manifestos prepared by our party units in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Telangana,” said Odisha Congress chief Niranjan Patnaik.

Though the ruling-BJD is yet to constitute a manifesto committee, sources in knowledge of the affairs said after taking into consideration the suggestions from public, the party will finalise its manifesto.

“The party president would make an announcement on poll manifesto after collecting feedback from people,” said Pratap Deb, BJD spokesperson.