This is the Prime Minister’s second visit to Puducherry to campaign for the NDA candidates after having addressed a poll rally on 25 February after unveiling several centrally sponsored development projects that day.
PM Modi will speak at the rally to be held at the AFT Thidal, according to a PTI report.
The AINRC, which heads the NDA in Puducherry, is contesting from 16 of the total 30 constituencies, while BJP is seeking election from nine seats and the AIADMK from five.
AINRC leader and former Chief Minister N Rangasamy is seeking election from two segments-Thattanchavady and Yanam.
Elections for the 30 assembly seats in Puducherry will be held in a single phase on 6 April.
Of the 30 assembly seats, five are reserved for the Scheduled Caste candidates. As many as 10,02,589 electors will choose the candidates for the 15 legislative Assembly of Puducherry.
BJP’s poll manifesto for Puducherry
The BJP has released the poll manifesto for Puducherry, in which it promised to create 2.5 lakh new jobs for youth, financial assistance of ₹6,000 per year for all fishermen and free scooty for girls pursuing higher education if it is elected to power in the Union Territory.
The BJP also promised ₹2,000 top-up assistance to farmers under the PM KISAN scheme, the launch of a 5-year Water Security Plan for Puducherry and the setting up Integrated Cattle development centre under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission.
For fishermen, the BJP promised to provide Mudra loans for street fish vendors, fishermen’s wivees, an increase of ‘lean period’ allowance from ₹5,000 to ₹8,000 during the fishing banned period and subsidies for fibre boats, diesel and cold storage.
The party also talked about doubling farmers income and milk and dairy production in Puducherry in five years.
The BJP also promised new industrial and investment policies including the comprehensive framework of subsidies and incentives, creating a safe, predictable and enabling environment for ease of doing business and the launch of Global Invest Puducherry Summit within the first year of forming the government.
The manifesto also mentioned setting up a new Puducherry Financial Corporation (PFC) to cater to MSMEs, start-ups, SHGs, fishermen cooperatives, artisans, etc and a Mega Textile Park with all the integrated facilities and quick turnaround time for minimizing transportation losses.
The BJP also promised to establish a “Puducherry Education Board” that will also conduct Xth and XIIth board exams for students of the UT.
The manifesto promised to ensure free and quality education to all female students from KG to PG, provide laptops free of cost to college students of all higher education institutes, and a provision for a free scooty to all girls pursuing higher education in Puducherry.
According to the manifesto, if BJP is elected then it will remove all encroachment of temple lands and set up a special temple restoration fund to renovate and repair temples.
A new Puducherry Youth Welfare and Sports Board also find its mention in the manifesto.
The BJP also promised to create a Startup Puducherry Fund to provide subsidised loans up to ₹25 lakhs to start-ups.
The party said 30% reservation for Puducherry-based students in government and private colleges and all government vacancies will be made once it is elected to power.
Community sports centers to be established, public gyms will be set up in every constituency, read the manifesto.
The BJP promised to ensure that there are 50% women employees in all government and public sector institutions, interest-free loan up to ₹5 lakhs for women-run SHGs, 50% reservation for women in local body elections and free sanitary napkin vending machines in all public places, schools, colleges, Anganwadis and PDS shops.
While the Congress is fighting the polls in an alliance with DMK, the opposition tie-up consists of All India NR Congress, BJP and AIADMK.