By Anindya Banerjee and Ankur Sharma 

New Delhi: The Congress manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections in Chhattisgarh was leaked ahead of the press meet at 7 pm where it was supposed to be announced. This would surely have embarrassed party president Rahul Gandhi ahead of the crucial election season.  

The Congress said that the manifesto, named the 'Jan Ghoshna Patra' or people's manifesto, was a culmination of inputs from various sections of the electorate, including farmers, women, labourers, students, teachers, tribals and others. 

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Thirty-six points of policy-making were included in the manifesto. Here are the main features:

1. Immediate loan waiver for farmers within 10 days of formation of the Congress government. A major thrust on the agricultural sector, which also includes fixing the minimum support price (MSP) for various crops according to the Swaminathan Commission report. The MSP for rice has been fixed at Rs 2,500/quintal and maize at Rs 1,700/quintal. The manifesto also includes provisioning of pension for farmers above 60 years of age.

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2. The manifesto also promises cutting of electricity bills by half for domestic consumption, provisioning of houses and land to urban and rural families respectively. 

3. Every family will be given 35kg of rice, every month at the rate of Re 1 only. 

4. Tackling employment under Ghar Ghar Rozgaar, Har Ghar Rozgaar, the manifesto underlines apprenticeship programmes and employment opportunities for the youth. Also the government will provide a monthly stipend to 10 lakh unemployed youngsters under Rajiv Mitr Yojna for financially support.

5. Women safety is one of the primary features of the Jan Ghoshna Patra. Accordingly, a strict enforcement of laws, setting up of special women police stations and women help cells in every police station have been proposed. Also special conveyance for women for late night commuting, with proper technology has been proposed. 

6. The interests of minorities have been given due importance. There are proposals for their security, job opportunity and special help for ease of doing business.

7. Emphasising on healthcare services, the manifesto proposes the introduction of a universal healthcare programme to provide free and quality services to those in need. It also proposes converting six medical colleges into multi-speciality hospitals, along with bringing 1,000 specialists on board in the first year. Air ambulances will be provided for areas like Bastar, Sarguja and Supebeda. 

8. Special attention on improving the quality of education through emphasis on the quality of teachers. Apart from education, measures will be in place to deal with nutrition and anaemia in school kids, putting a health cell in all education institutions. The manifesto also promises filling up of 50,000 posts for teachers to balance the teacher-student ratio in the first year.

9. Increasing the MSP of 70-85 forest crops and fixing it at Rs 4,000 per bag for tendu patta workers. Fixing a respectable income for daily wage labourers, increase in income bands of class three and four employees, distribution of Seventh Pay Commission surplus in three phases, increase in the pension being given to police families, who lost loved ones in naxal attacks, establishment of sports hostels, scholarships for economically weak sportspersons.