Chandigarh | Jagran Politics Desk: In Punjab, the dynamics for the 2022 assembly elections have changed vastly with Captain Amarinder Singh forming an alliance with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and farmer groups forming their own political party. As a result, the ruling Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) have resorted to 'freebies' to woo the voters.
AAP, which is currently the second-largest party in the 117-member Punjab assembly, has promised to pay a Rs 1,000 monthly allowance to every woman above the age of 18 in the state. It also promised to improve the education sector and said that it will provide free coaching for IAS, medical and IIT students.
"Third guarantee announced by AAP, which was heavily criticised by other political parties, is that it alone will provide a great deal of financial help to women in Punjab," Kejriwal said last month during a poll rally.
Kejriwal, who is hard-selling his 'Delhi model' of development and governance in Punjab, has also promised to provide free electricity to up to 300 units and said AAP will take strict actions against the sand mafia in the state.
He has claimed that his party has doubled pay and incentive amounts in Delhi and will provide similar benefits to workers in Punjab.
"We only did one thing in Delhi corruption elimination. Then we were able to provide free water, electricity, the best schools and hospitals, and free transportation for women," Kejriwal said.
AAP's announcements have sparked a 'freebies' battle with Congress. Recently, Punjab Congress chief Navjot Singh Sidhu had also made similar promises like that of AAP and said that the grand old party will provide Rs 2,000 per month to women homemakers if it is voted to power.
Sidhu also promised eight free cooking gas cylinders to homemakers every year. He also promised two-wheelers to girls taking admission in colleges for further studies, Rs 20,000 to those passing 12th class, Rs 15,000 to the ones passing 10th standard and Rs 5,000 to the others passing fifth grade.
"As an incentive, girls who pass class 10th standard will be given Rs 15,000 and girls after passing 12th standard and wish to go to colleges for higher studies will be given Rs 20,000," Sidhu said during a poll rally.
Chief Minister Charanjit Singh Channi also tried to lure the voters and said that Congress will provide the youth one lakh jobs within a year and also launch a programme to help them go abroad if it returns to power.
He also said the youth will be given free coaching of English language tests to settle abroad. Apart from it, the state government will provide free coaching of the IELTS (International English Language Testing System ) and TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) to enable the youth go abroad easily, he said.
Not just the AAP or Congress, the Shiromani Akali Dal - former ally of the BJP - has also promised to provide Rs 2,000 to each woman with a blue card. However, the BJP or Captain Amarinder Singh's Punjab Lok Congress (PLC) have not made any such annoucement yet.
Assembly elections in Punjab will be held this year. Currently, Congress is in power in the state with 77 seats. The AAP is the second-largest party with 28 seats.
Posted By: Aalok Sensharma
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