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Punjab polls: BJP rolls out 11-point roadmap to boost farm sector and develop rural areas

BJP led three-party alliance has issued an 11-point 'Sankalp pattar' (commitment document) for rural Punjab ahead of February 20 polls.

As part of its outreach to farmers, the BJP led three-party alliance has issued an 11-point 'Sankalp pattar' (commitment document) for rural Punjab ahead of February 20 polls.

The document promises a minimum support price (MSP) for fruits, vegetables, pulses, and oilseeds. At present, MSP is available only on wheat and paddy crops.

The document makes a commitment to provide Rs 5,000 crore for crop diversification and organic farming and free rainwater harvesting units to check depleting water-table.

The document also promises to promote dairy farming, poultry farming, apiculture, the setting up of new cold stores, and providing loans to scheduled castes, backward classes, and economically weaker sections. Free electricity for irrigation and a loan waiver has also been promised.

The document pledges to promote rural entrepreneurship and quality education in rural areas. The students will be given passes for free travel to their educational institutions. Playgrounds will be built in villages to produce sportsmen of the international level, the document states.

Under the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Sinchayi Yojna, new irrigation projects will be launched while pending irrigation projects will be expedited.

The farmers who protested for about a year against the three controversial farm laws which now have been withdrawn are being placated ahead of elections. It is for the first time that the BJP is contesting Punjab elections on 65 seats as a major alliance partner. During the previous assembly elections, the BJP was a junior alliance partner  of the Shiromani Akali  Dal and had fielded only 23 candidates.

The document was released on Tuesday by the BJP's Punjab election in-charge Union Minister Gajendra Singh Shekhawat, party leaders Harjit Singh Grewal, Subhash Sharma, and the Shiromani Akali Dal (Sanyukt) chief Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa. Punjab Lok Congress president Amarinder Singh skipped the event.

Earlier, the BJP led alliance had also released an 11-point vision document in the presence of Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri, promising overall development of the state eliminating corruption and mafias, and opening a medical and nursing college in each parliamentary constituency.

Also read: BJP takes on board 12 farmers in first list of candidates for Punjab polls