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India election 2019: What are voters being promised?

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These women had just voted in the north-eastern state of Assam
Some 900 million people are due to vote in India's election - but what policies are Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Rahul Gandhi's Congress hoping to get their votes with[/img]

Jobs


Indian National Congress
- Fill 400,000 vacancies in various state organisations, the judiciary and parliament by 31 March 2020
- Angel taxes imposed on start-ups to be withdrawn immediately
- Application fees for government examinations and government posts to be abolished.
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Increase public and private investment in infrastructure that will also lead to creation of a large number of jobs
- Ensure 10% quota for economically weak sections of society in government jobs and higher education institutes

Farmers


Indian National Congress
- Not allow criminal proceedings to be instituted against any farmer unable to repay debt
- Present a separate “farmers budget” to ensure priority is given to agricultural issues
- Redesign the current government’s crop insurance scheme which has not been beneficial to farmers
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Double farmers’ income by 2022
- A scheme to ensure financial support to small and medium farmers will be expanded to cover all farmers
- Introduce a pension scheme for small farmers and traders

Income Support


Indian National Congress
- Guarantee an income for 50 million of India's poorest families
- A government programme that guarantees 100 days of paid work to every rural household will be increased to 150 days
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Bring down the percentage of families living below the poverty line to a single digit in the next five years
- Ensure a permanent house for every family.
- Give gas cylinder connections to all poor rural households

Economy and Taxes


Indian National Congress
- Reform the Goods and Services Tax introduced by the government
- Achieve a fiscal deficit target of 3% of GDP by 2020-21
- Enact the Direct Taxes Code within one year of government
- Work with the central bank to simplify the procedures banks use to verify customers
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Simplify the Goods and Services Tax in consultation with all stakeholders
- Make capital investment of Rs.100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector
- Launch a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit up to five million rupees for entrepreneurs.
- Promote and encourage start-ups through creation of a ‘Seed Start-up Fund’

Education


Indian National Congress
- Pass a law to provide for quotas to disprivileged people in private higher education institutions
- Primary and secondary education in public schools to be compulsory and free
- Double the allocation for education to 6% of GDP
- Introduce vocational training as a compulsory component of the syllabus
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Increase the number of admissions in central law, engineering, science and management institutions by at least 50%.
- Set up a medical college in every district
- Establish teacher training institutes

Women


Indian National Congress
- Pass the Constitution (Amendment) Bill to provide for reservation of 33 per cent of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha.
- Every Special Economic Zone shall have working women’s hostels and safe transport facilities to increase the participation of women in the labour force.
- Sufficient night shelters will be built for migrant women workers. Adequate number of safe and hygienic public toilets for women will be provided in towns and cities. Sanitary napkin vending machines will be installed in public spaces,schools and colleges.
- Review the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces Act, 2013 and extend the Act to all workplaces.
- Launch a programme to appoint an Adhikar Maitri in every Panchayat to serve as a paralegal to educate women on, and assist them in, their legal rights.
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Ensure justice for Muslim women by enacting a law against triple talaq (instant divorce)
- Formulate a roadmap to increase female workforce participation.
- Number of childcare facilities to be increased three fold by 2022.
- Sanitary pads to be provided to all women and girls for just one rupee ($0.014)
- Bring 33% reservation in parliament and state assemblies for women

Health


Indian National Congress
-Guarantee every citizen the right to healthcare services
- Double the total government expenditure on healthcare to 3% of GDP by 2023-24
- Ensure that mental healthcare professionals are appointed at all public district hospitals and that mental healthcare services are made freely available
- Trauma and Emergency Centres to be established on all national and state highways
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Establish 150,000 new health and wellness centres
- Increase the doctor-population ratio to 1:1,400
- Improve facilities at existing Health and Wellness Centres by 2022

Miscellaneous


Indian National Congress
- Make ‘defamation’ a civil instead of a criminal offence
- Remove the charge of sedition from the Indian penal code
- Strengthen the press council to protect the freedom of journalists, uphold editorial independence and guard against government interference
- Pass a law to curb monopolies in the media, cross-ownership of different segments of the media and control of the media by other business organisations
- Reduce the presence of the Army and paramilitary forces in the Kashmir Valley, and entrust more responsibility to the state police to maintain law and order
- Pass a new law to prevent and punish mob action and hate crime
- Direct that gender sensitivity training, especially for the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community, be made mandatory in all government departments and organisations including the Armed Forces and the Police Forces
Bharatiya Janata Party
- Ensure electricity for every household in the country
- Continue a policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism and extremism
- Enact the Citizenship Amendment Bill to protect religious minorities from neighbouring countries who are escaping persecution
- Annul Article 35A of the Constitution which gives Kashmir special status
- Ensure piped water to every household by 2024
- Construct an additional 60,000 km of national highways in the next five years
- Explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya
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