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After Bihar, BJP Now Promises ‘Free Coronavirus Vaccine’ in Manifesto for Madhya Pradesh Bypolls

After its promise of free coronavirus vaccine in Bihar amid elections, BJP reiterated its word in Madhya Pradesh. The party has promised free Covid-19 vaccine to every resident of MP in its manifesto for the November 3 Assembly byelections. The party came out with a separate `Sankalp Patra’ or manifesto for each of the 28 poll-bound constituencies on Wednesday.

“Mostly, local issues have been included in each manifesto,” said MP BJP spokesperson Rajneesh Agrawal. But free COVID-19 vaccine and restart of the schemes closed by the previous Congress government are common promises, he said.

The BJP poll manifesto is a mixture of old achievements including payment of crop insurance to farmers for 2018 and 2019; resumption of 0% interest farm loans, and work under schemes which are already underway.

The document had no mention of whether the party intends to restart Jai Kisan Yojana, a farm loan waiver scheme introduced by Kamal Nath government in 2018, which was halted after the exit of Congress government in March 2020.

“As far as free vaccination is concerned, Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has already announced it,” he said. The BJP’s promise of free vaccine in Bihar had drawn flak from opposition parties.

The Congress scoffed at the promise of free vaccine in Madhya Pradesh. “The BJP should vaccinate people before the polling on November 3. Where is the vaccine for COVID-19? The BJP is selling dreams to people and trying to mislead them,” said state Congress spokesperson Bhupendra Gupta.

Kamal Nath’s media co-ordinator Narendra Saluja called the manifesto a bundle of lies and questioned why Jyotiraditya Scindia was placed on the second page at the ninth place among other party leaders.

Chouhan’s announcement of direct benefit transfer (DBT) of Rs 4,000 to the beneficiaries of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi also finds mention in the BJP’s list of promises. Twenty-two Congress MLAs, mostly loyalists of Jyotiraditya Scindia, resigned in March which led to the collapse of the Congress government in MP. Three legislators resigned and joined the BJP later, while three other seats fell vacant due to the death of incumbent legislators.

(With inputs from PTI)

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