The Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD)-Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) alliance on Tuesday released election manifesto promising what it called "brave and path-breaking initiatives", including a revolutionary shift to clean solar energy to ensure zero-bill electricity to every house and student cards of Rs 10 lakh each for quality education, anywhere.The alliance promised Rs 10 lakh free annual health insurance for all Punjabis, Rs 2,000 per month to all women heads of 'blue card' families, 5 lakh houses and five marla plots each to homeless poor and hiking old-age pension to Rs 3,100 and shagun scheme of Rs 75,000.The manifesto promises Rs 5 lakh interest-free loan to every youth, especially women to start their own enterprise.Releasing the manifesto jointly, SAD President Sukhbir Singh Badal said, "Our blueprint for taking Punjab and Punjabis into the brave new era makes a strong pitch for combining the much needed thrust on social welfare with path-breaking initiatives for sustained, inclusive and futuristic progress and development."
"We will completely transform the lives of the people of our state in every sphere. We have prepared a practical road for revolutionising agriculture by a state-sponsored shift to the commercial exploitation of our farmers' potential."The manifesto promised to encourage and promote the lucrative water-based farming which requires no fertilisers, insecticides or pesticides and saves 90 per cent water, said Badal at a press meet with BSP in-charge of Punjab affairs, Randhir Beniwal.
To open up professional avenues, the manifesto promises a series of measures. "The SAD-BJP government will start flying academies to train pilots, flight engineers and cabin crew on a cost-to-cost basis."On the political and social front, Badal and Beniwal said the alliance is committed to peace and communal harmony as fundamental condition for any progress.Punjab will go to the polls for 117-member Assembly on February 20.In the 2017 Punjab Assembly polls, the Congress won 77 seats, while the SAD-BJP alliance could win only 18 seats. The AAP emerged as the second-largest party with 20 seats.