The BJP has dominated the state since 2003, with the exception of a 15-month period following the 2018 Assembly election.

With only six days to the Assembly elections in Madhya Pradesh, the BJP presented its manifesto for the state on Saturday. The party, which has dominated in the state since 2003 with the exception of around 15 months between 2018 and 2020, is seeking a second term, and its platform contains a plethora of promises to that end.

The Congress, which was elected in 2018 but lost power after senior leader Jyotiraditya Scindia’s rebellion in 2020, is hoping to capitalise on anti-incumbency and improve on its 2018 performance, in which it won 114 of the state’s 230 seats and formed the government despite falling two seats short of a majority.

On October 17, the Congress presented its manifesto, and many of the promises made by both parties are identical.

The BJP has prioritised women’s empowerment in these elections, and the flagship Ladli Behna Yojana was inaugurated in June, under which qualifying women from low-income households get Rs. 1,250 per month. The BJP has offered free education for girls from low-income households till they complete their post-secondary education in its platform.

It has also announced 450 cooking gas cylinders for Ladli Behna and ‘PM Ujjwala’ programme beneficiaries, and upped the entitlement amount under the Ladli Lakshmi plan from 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh. This initiative provides parents of female children with a lump sum when their kid is born, as well as periodic payments at key stages of the girl’s life. After reaching the age of 30, the recipient receives a lump sum payment.

Meanwhile, the Congress has pledged 1,500 per month to qualified women under the Naari Samman Yojana, as well as a 500 petrol cylinder. It has also set aside 2.51 lakh rupees under the Meri Beti Ladli Yojana.

Farmer Concentration

The BJP has committed to buy wheat at $2,700 per quintal and paddy at $3,100 per quintal, as well as $12,000 in cash support to farmers. The Congress, on the other hand, has stated that it will purchase paddy at 2,500 per quintal and wheat at 2,600 per quintal, and has guaranteed a crop debt forgiveness.

Sharp Assaults

The BJP has stated ten significant resolutions as well as PM Modi’s assurance. Some of these include providing free rations to all impoverished households and subsidising legumes, mustard, oil, and sugar. Other pledges include constructing a Madhya Pradesh Institute of Technology on the lines of IIT and a Madhya Pradesh Institute of Medical Science on the lines of AIIMS in each division of the state, as well as ensuring that every household has at least one work or self-employment option.

The 96-page manifesto, dubbed the ‘Sankalp Patra’ by the BJP, was issued by party president JP Nadda, state chairman VD Sharma, and chairman Minister Shivraj Singh.

Sankalp Patra, the relevance of the manifesto has gradually declined over time since political parties initially entice people with promises and then forget. They make promises, then break them, and mislead the people. However, the BJP is the only party that has followed through on the agenda in text and spirit. “It is our track record,” Mr Nadda stated.

The Congress, on the other hand, has stated that the BJP manifesto is full of falsehoods. “Today, the BJP released its manifesto for the Madhya Pradesh Assembly elections, which is jam-packed with ‘jumlas.'” “It also suggests that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan’s departure is imminent,” said Congress leader Supriya Shrinate.