Voters in Karnataka have been requested not to waste time in trying to understand BJP’s manifesto for the state assembly elections by Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday who describe the manifesto as being a “poorly crafted fantasy built around a weak plot”.

“The BJP Karnataka Manifesto, inspired by Narendra Modi, is a poorly crafted fantasy built around a weak plot, that has nothing unique to offer voters. If you’ve read the Congress Manifesto, don’t waste your time on this one,” Rahul said.

A plethora of promises – starting with farm loan waiver and other offerings for farmers to giveaways such as laptops for students and smartphones for BPL women to awarding of a commission for cow protection, have been made in the BJP manifesto released for Karnataka elections for May 12.

The most enticing of the poll promises by the BJP in Karnataka this election is the pledge to waive off loans of farmers for a value of up to Rs 1 lakh which had been taken from nationalised or cooperative banks. And if voted to power, BJP will also spend Rs 1.5 lakh crore on irrigation projects in the state, said its manifesto.

After the BJP forms a government, it will also come out with a ‘white paper’ on the financial health of the state under the Congress rule, said B S Yeddyurappa, the Karnataka BJP president and its chief ministerial candidate, while launching the manifesto.

To provide relief to farmers from the negative effects of price fluctuations, the manifesto also promised launching of a Rs 5,000 crore ‘Raitha Bandhu Market Intervention Fund’.

Trips to countries like Israel and China for the farmers of the state would be organized every year to allow farmers to study best practices in agriculture, it said.

A new scheme called ‘Vivaha Mangala’ would be launched if the BJP comes top power which would provide Rs 25,000 and 3 gm of gold to brides of families living Below Poverty Line (BPL) when they are to be married, the manifesto said.

In contrast, the Congress pledged to spend Rs 1.25 lakh crore on irrigation over the next five years and create 1 crore jobs if it is voted back to power, in its manifesto for the Karnataka Assembly polls, released on April 27.

The manifesto had been described by Rahul Gandhi as the “voice of the people of Karnataka” and was not a document that was the brainchild of just “three or four people in a closed room”.

The Congress manifesto contained the “mann ki baat” of the people of Karnataka even though the prime minister likes to tell people his “mann ki baat”, Rahul had said taking a dig at the Prime Minister.

The Congress manifesto also promised to create great opportunities for high growth in agriculture and allied sectors by the creation of create an “agricultural corridor” in Karnataka along with the 10 different agro-climatic zones in the state and while making use of other natural advantages.

The manifesto also promised reduction of professional taxes.

(Adapted from