Ahmedabad: The Congress on Tuesday roped in Sheila Dikshit, its three-time Delhi Chief Minister, as star campaigner for the crucial Gujarat assembly polls and unveiled its manifesto with a series of promises, including free laptops and tablets to students.
Releasing the manifesto, Gujarat Pradesh Congress Committee Chief Arjun Modhwadia slammed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government for ignoring farmers, minorities, healthcare facilities and small-scale industries during its rule in the state.
The Congress promised it would provide free laptops and tablets to students, reduce their fees and grant scholarships to minorities.
The party said if voted to power, it will also implement the Sachar Committee report which advocates granting more facilities to Muslims to bring them into the mainstream.
Ms Dikshit, who led the Congress to a record three successive victories in Delhi assembly elections, slammed the Narendra Modi-led government in Gujarat for its "misrule".
"We never make promises which can't be fulfilled. Our manifestos are based on basic requirements of the people and it includes every section of society," she said.
Mr Modhwadia, who read out the manifesto, said the Congress government in Gujarat would provide better irrigation facilities, construct more dams (both small and medium), provide VAT-free fertilisers to farmers and ensure regular supply of electricity to them.
"They (BJP) made promises which were never fulfilled. Some of their promises figure in every election manifesto," he said, describing the BJP's poll manifesto as a "document full of lies".
The Congress manifesto also promises to make diesel, petrol and LPG cheaper, implement the Sixth Pay Commission recommendations, right to education to all, set up fishing harbours and provide insurance coverage to fishermen.
It also promises to revive small-scale industries and set up more industries in backward areas where 85 percent employees will be recruited from local population and strictly implement the labour laws.
The manifesto promises to provide free life-saving drugs, pure drinking water to all and complete the Narmada dam.
The state goes to the polls December 13 and 17. The counting of ballots is slated for December 20.