BANGALORE: Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Chief Minister candidate for the upcoming Karnataka Assembly Elections, B. S. Yeddyurappa, on Friday, underscored his party's priority for the welfare of farmers.
Speaking at the launch of the BJP manifesto for the forthcoming elections in the state, the former Chief Minister of Karnataka said, "We are committed to reducing the burden of debt on our Annadaatas. We will announce a crop loan waiver up to Rs 1 lakh, including all loans from Nationalised and Co-operative Banks. Welfare of farmers has always been our priority. We will allocate Rs 1, 50, 000 Cr under 'Sujalam Suphalam Karnataka Yojane' to complete all irrigation projects by 2023 and ensure water reaches every field in the state."
He also announced the Rs 5,000 Crore 'Raitha Bandhu Market Intervention Fund' to support farmers during price fluctuations and a three-phase power supply for 10 hours for farmers to operate their pump sets.
Under the manifesto, he also promised that up to a thousand farmers will travel to countries like Israel and China every year to study advanced agricultural practices under the 'CM's Fellowship for Agriculture'.
Declaring that a 'Raitha Bandhu Department' would be formed, Yeddyurappa claimed that the implementation of all farmer friendly schemes will be strictly monitored.
Shifting the focus to women-centric initiatives, Yeddyurappa promised the establishment of a Rs 10,000 Crore 'Stree Unnati Fund' to set up one of the largest women run co-operatives, along with the launch of 'Stree Unnati Stores' to market its products.
He also promised the formation of a Special Investigation Cell under a woman Police Officer, which will employ up to 1000 women Police officers to investigate all pending crimes against women.
Claiming that his government will provide free sanitary napkins to Below Poverty Line (BPL) women and girl students at Re 1, he declared the launch of the 'Mukhya Mantri Smartphone Yojane' to provide women from BPL families with free Smartphones.
Meanwhile, he also announced the reintroduction of The 'Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill 2012'.
The polling for the 225-member Karnataka Assembly is scheduled for May 12, with the results set to be announced on May 15.