Promises, problems

Will the new Congress government implement the five ‘guarantees’ that helped it in part to wrest power from the BJP in toto or will they now add a “conditions apply” clause ? All eyes now seem to be on this, as the Siddaramaiah-led government assumes office on Saturday. During campaigning for the May 10 Assembly elections, Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, repeatedly assured the voters that these five guarantees would be approved in the maiden cabinet meeting on the first day of coming to power.

The ‘guarantees’ found resonance with voters, particularly with women, and played a key role in the party’s resounding victory, political analysts noted.The Congress, which bagged 135 seats in the 224-member Assembly, ousted from power the BJP, which won in 66 constituencies, while the Janata Dal (Secular) managed to win only 19 seats.

Some BJP leaders have alleged that implementation of the ‘guarantees’ would push the state into bankruptcy, and have also claimed that the Congress would not honour its pre-poll promises fully.T hese guarantees are: 200 units of free power to all households (Gruha Jyoti), Rs 2,000 monthly assistance to the woman head of every family (Gruha Lakshmi), 10 kg of rice free to every member of a BPL household (Anna Bhagya), Rs 3,000 every month for unemployed graduates and Rs 1,500 for unemployed diploma holders (both in the age group of 18-25) for two years (YuvaNidhi), and free travel for women in public transport buses (Shakti).