Karnataka Polls: Congress promises to cost Rs 45,000 crore annually – Deccan Herald

Eyeing a return to power, the Congress has made two populist poll promises that are expected to cost the exchequer an estimated Rs 45,000 crore every year. 
On Monday, AICC general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra unveiled the Gruha Lakshmi scheme in which the woman head of every household will get financial assistance of Rs 2,000 per month or Rs 24,000 a year. 
The party said the scheme would benefit 1.5 crore women. So, it would require Rs 36,000 crore a year, according to a back-of-the-envelope calculation. 
Last week, the Congress announced the Gruha Jyoti scheme in which 200 units of free electricity will be provided to all households in the state. This is estimated to cost Rs 9,000 crore. 
Read | Congress promises Rs 2,000 per month to women-led households in Karnataka if elected
“Once we are voted to power, we will focus on massive resource mobilisation and out-of-the-box revenue sources in the interest of welfare schemes,” Karnataka Congress’ communications chief Priyank Kharge said. 
After Priyanka unveiled the Gruha Lakshmi scheme, a symbolic cheque signed by Karnataka Congress president DK Shivakumar and Leader of the Opposition Siddaramaiah was issued in favour of “every woman head of the family”. 
Speaking at the Na Nayaki event, Siddaramaiah said the BJP had made 21 promises to women in its 2018 election manifesto. “The BJP hasn’t fulfilled even one. There’s no bigger welcher than BJP. Out of 600 promises they made in 2018, they’ve not implemented even 10%,” he said, accusing the BJP of making false promises. 
The BJP ran the #PriyankaKeFakePromises hashtag on Twitter to claim that Congress governments in various states failed to implement poll promises made by Priyanka. 
The Chhattisgarh government did not implement Rs 2,500 monthly allowance for unemployed young women, in Himachal Pradesh Rs 1,500 assistance to women aged 18-60 did not materialise, Rs 3,500 monthly unemployment allowance for young women and free education for girls in Rajasthan were not fulfilled, the BJP said. 
“Earlier, in Madhya Pradesh, the Congress promised interest-free loans to facilitate students to go to college. After election, there was no word on this,” the BJP said. “It has now become a habit of Congress to announce schemes during the campaign without knowing the feasibility of the schemes before the elections,” the party alleged. 
 
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