Battle for Karnataka: Loan waivers, smartphones to Mangalsutras, BJP & Congress offer freebies

The Bhartiya Janta Party and the Congress party are offering freebies by the dozen to win votes in Karnataka. The BJP unveiled its manifesto on Friday almost a week after the Congress.

While Congress offered free smartphones to college students, the BJP went a step ahead and said that students enrolling in colleges will get free laptops. Congress promised one crore jobs and BJP farmer loan waivers and reintroduction of the Karnataka Prevention of Cow Slaughter and Preservation Bill.

ALSO READ: Battle for Karnataka: Congress manifesto promises smart phones to students

Broadly, both manifestos had sops for the same categories – farmers, women, students, start-ups, and social schemes. Besides these health and business schemes and sops also feature in the both the manifestos.


BJP:  Promised to waive off all farmers’ loans upto Rs 1 lakh from nationalised banks and cooperative banks in the very first state Cabinet meeting. One thousand farmers will be allowed each year to travel to countries like Israel and China to study the best practices in agriculture under the “Chief Minister’s Fellowship for Agriculture. It offered 20 lakh farmers living in drought-affected areas Rs 10,000 each and allocated Rs 1.5 lakh crores for irrigation. It promised free electricity to farmers for 10 hours for all pump sets.

Congress: Proposed to double farmer income and constitute a statutory Farmers Income Commission to ensure basic livelihood for farmers, agri-labourers and agricultural household. Committed to launch an initiative for developing sustainable agri-business enabled through an ‘Agricultural Corridor for Karnataka’ for agriculture and its allied sectors covering production, infrastructure and industrial segments on an end-to-end concept. Moreover, it will set-up a distress fund to help farmers in trouble. Irrigation schemes were also announced

ALSO READ: Battle for Karnataka: BJP manifesto promises laptop & mangalsutras


BJP: Promised to give free smartphones and three gram gold mangalsutra for all women belonging to Below Poverty Line (BPL) family under the MukhyaMantri Smartphone Yojane. It will set up a Special Investigation Cell, under a woman police officer, and employ 1,000 police women to investigate all pending crimes against women. The party promised to provide free sanitary napkins to lesser privileged women and girl students and at Rs. 1 for other women under the new “StreeSuvidha Scheme. It will establish a Rs Rs 10,000 crore “Stree Unnati Fund” to set up one of the largest women run co-operatives and establish “Stree Unnati Stores” to market its products at district and taluk headquarters.

Congress: Said it will increase the number of women working in the government to 50 per cent. Promised to give three grams of gold to all girls and subsidy for sanitary napkin vending machines, which will be installed in all colleges, polytechnics, ITIs, school and public toilets. Taxes on sanitary pads will be abolished. The party said it will ensure distribution of free sanitary pads through PDS to women below poverty line. Increase the number of women in police force from 20 per cent to 33 per cent with at least 5 per cent reservation to transgenders.

Students and sports

BJP: Under the Mukhya Mantri Laptop Yojane the party promised to provide every student enrolling in a college with a free laptop. Every taluk will have a swimming pool and running track. Government-sponsored education in foreign countries for more than 400 schedule tribes students. Special coaching centres will prepare SC/ST/OBC/ BPL students for entrance examinations like JEE, CAT, KPSC and UPSC. BPL category students seeking higher education will be eligible for zero interest rate loans upto Rs 3 Lakh for degree and Rs 5 Lakh for integrated courses

Congress: Promised a smart phone each to all college-going students between 18 and 23 years of age, if voted back to power. Government will be the guarantor and provide free education in government schools until Grade 12 to every child.  Sports and yoga will be introduced as a compulsory subject in school curriculum to inculcate sports culture in students. Any sports person from the state winning a medal in Olympics will be given a cash award of 1 crore. Any sports person from the state winning in any other international sports events will be given prize money. Develop an International School of Architecture at Badami to take advantage of the ancient architecture of Paadakal, Ihole and Bijapur.


BJP: Will setup six “K-Hubs” as the biggest incubators and co-working spaces for startups in India at Hubballi, Bengaluru, Raichur, Mysuru, Mangaluru and Kalaburgi.

Congress: Startup subsidy of about Rs 1 crore, so that a company can kick start production. The subsidy will have a grant component of up to Rs 25 lakh and a loan of about Rs 75 lakh.

Social schemes

BJP: More than 300 annapoorna canteens to be set up. Said Rs 7500 crores to be allocated to provide modern amenities to OBCs, and much more. Rs 3000 crores to be allotted for animal welfare. It announced housing schemes for SC/ST. Loans taken by weavers upto Rs 1 Lakh will also be waived.

Congress: Improve traffic by setting up technology-enabled, auto-synchronised traffic management system with connected signals across the city.   Communal Violence Prevention, Control and Rehabilitation of Victims Act’ will be legislated on the lines of the bill brought by the Congress-led UPA government at the centre. Set up OBC commission to look into their issuesand 75 per cent concession in education admission fees for OBC students. Establish de-addiction centres with counselling cells in every taluk. In order to ensure minimum acquittals in cases registered under POCSO Act, POCSO courts will be held in child-friendly rooms



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