Himachal Election: Congress Reiterates Its Promise Of Pension For Senior Citizens

Congress reiterated on Friday the promise of implementing the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) if elected to power in Himachal Pradesh. The party also slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Agniveer scheme.

NEW DELHI | Updated: 05 November, 2022 2:16 am IST
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra addressed a rally

Congress reiterated on Friday the promise of implementing the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) if elected to power in Himachal Pradesh. The party also slammed the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over the Agniveer scheme.

Addressing a public meeting in Kangra’s Nagrota area, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra said, “We say, we will give OPS. The BJP asks us, on what basis are you saying this? We are saying on the basis that in Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan we have done it, we are giving old pensions.”

“This is not only the dev bhoomi but also the veer bhoomi. And here, all mothers are ready to send their children to the armed forces to safeguard our borders,” she said.

Priyanka Gandhi also highlighted the valour of the people of Kangra, who laid down their lives for the country while safeguarding the borders. “You people should feel proud that you have the blood of the true heroes of the country, which only you can understand,” she said.

Speaking about the Agniveer scheme for recruitment into the Army, Priyanka Gandhi said it was an insult to the martyrs of Himachal. “Army will now run on contract,” she said, adding that the BJP even failed to implement one rank, one pension scheme.

“There could be an Agniveer scheme, through which the army is being contracted. You will send your sons to the borders so that after 4 years, they will work like employees in an office,” Priyanka Gandhi said.

Attacking BJP-led governments, in the centre as well as in the states, Priyanka said, “They (BJP) don’t want to give OROP, nor the employment, and neither do they want to control the inflation.”

Connecting emotionally, Priyanka Gandhi said that she can understand the pride of a martyr’s family as she is also the daughter of a martyr.

“I understand that passion because I saw that spirit in my grandmother, Indira Gandhiji. I saw that spirit in my father, Rajiv Gandhiji, and I saw that devotion to duty in my mother, which is only from the family of a martyr,” she said.

Priyanka Gandhi also attacked the BJP for failing to fulfil its promises. “Many youths are unemployed, and many small businesses have been ruined due to GST,” she said.

“We (Congress) have promised to provide one lakh jobs to youth in the state, and the BJP says it is not possible. But in Chhattisgarh, our Congress government has provided five lakh jobs in three years, in Rajasthan, our government has provided 1.3 lakh jobs,” Priyanka said while highlighting the achievements of Congress-led governments.

“But in Himachal, there are over 63,000 vacant government posts. Chief minister Jairam Thakur says that the one lakh jobs we have promised, cannot be provided. I want to ask them if the government PSUs and other government properties can be sold to industrialist friends, then why not create one lakh jobs?” she added.

Priyanka Gandhi also highlighted the plight of farmers and said that while the farmers demand MSP for their produce, the prices of their products are being decided by industrialists.

“They (industrialists) are buying the crops and produce of farmers at their fixed rates. And when people talk about high inflation, the government imposes GST. “Even GST has been applied to cartons used for packing apple produce by apple growers,” she said.

Polling for the 68 member assembly is scheduled for November 12, and the counting of votes will take place on December 8. Congress is looking to make a comeback in power in the hilly state, which has a tradition of an alternate party government every five years.

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