After Bihar, the ruling BJP in Madhya Pradesh has promised free coronavirus vaccine to every resident of the state 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.
“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.
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.