Shivraj Singh Chouhan made promises in 2013 and kept most of them. If the sankalp patra is anything to go by, what will be the people’s verdict?
Many promises are made during elections, but how many of them are fulfilled has always remained unclear. But, going by an unwritten rule, people re-elect a government when they are happy with its performance. So, would this explain the support Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, who has been in office for 13 years, enjoys among the people? The key question is, will this support extend to the 2018 legislative assembly elections if voters largely depend on the promises fulfilled by the Chouhan government?
Here’s an analysis of his performance based on the 2013 manifesto which the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) calls 'Sankalp-Patra'
15 lakh houses for the poor, farmers and landless labourers
Analysis: Until September 2018, 10 lakh houses have been constructed under Mukhyamantri Grameen Awaas Mission.
Five lakh youths will be helped to take up self-employment or entrepreneurships.
Analysis: After one and a half years of election, Mukhyamantri Yuva Swarojgar Yojna and Mukhyamantri Yuva Udyami Yojna were started on 1 August 2014. . With the help of these schemes, it has become easy for youths to get bank loans and also financial help from the government. To encourage innovation, micro, small and medium sized industries have been allotted Rs 100 crore.
Youth taking admission in government colleges will get a smartphone
Analysis: The government started distributing smartphones since May 2016. An order for 3.75 lakh smartphones was placed and 1.3 lakh smartphones were distributed within a year.
Area of land with irrigation facilities will be increased up to 40 lakh hectares.
Analysis: In 2013, 25 lakh hectare of land had irrigation facilities. By the end of September 2018, area of land with irrigation facilities crossed 40 lakh hectares .
Rice at the rate of 1 rupee per kg for the poor
Analysis: In December 2013, after taking oath as Chief Minister for the third time, Chouhan started this scheme.
A separate agriculture budget will be presented
Analysis: After Karnataka, MP would have been the second state to present a budget for agriculture, but even after formation of a separate committee, a separate budget could not be presented. However, in 2018-19, an amount of Rs. 37, 498 crore was allotted to the agriculture sector. Also, the state has been winning Krishi Karman award for best overall agricultural production consecutively since five years.
A new crop insurance policy
Analysis: December 2013 After much planning, this could not be executed. After 2017 Mandsaur farmer protest, Shivraj realized that something concrete needs to be done, so he took help from centre. In 2018 one-third of the total amount of Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana (PMFBY) which means more than Rs. 5000 crore was distributed in MP alone while in 2017 state got only 17.6 percent (Rs. 1839.45 crore) of PMFBY amount.
Mukhyamantri Khet Sadak Yojana
Analysis: Small groups of houses and farms, which do not get connectivity under Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Mukhyamantri Gram Sadak Yojana (PMGSY), will get roads through this scheme. The scheme was started in December 2013 and the road standards matched Gram Sadak Yojana.
Those living in shanties and leased out houses will acquire ownership
Analysis: In July 2016, 2.16 lakh people acquired ownership of the land on which they had been living since before 2006.
Laptops for talented youths
Analysis: Laptops were distributed to students scoring more than 85 per cent marks in the general category and 75 per cent among scheduled classes in class 12 in 2018.
All villages to have road connectivity in five years
Analysis: Under PMGSY, maximum roads have been constructed in Madhya Pradesh only. Under Mukhyamantri Gram Sadak Yojana 10,000 kilometres of roads are being repaired and 510 km newly constructed with the help of the World Bank.
Mukhyamantri Swasthya Sewa Guarantee Yojana
Analysis: On 29 October 2014, Shivraj Singh Chouhan launched Mukhyamnatri Swasthya Sewa Guarantee Yojana. Under this, government hospitals have to compulsorily provide 18 health services which constitute free health checkup, free treatment, medicine distribution, Janani Suraksha, rehabilitation of seriously malnourished children, vaccination for babies, free treatment of tuberculosis and leprosy patients.
109 mobile treatment facility for animals
Analysis: Many districts have started the 109 service where cattle that are diseased or hit by accident hits are treated under this scheme.
These are examples of some successfully executed projects, yet there are others, work over which has not been carried out satisfactorily. This includes establishment of 10 agriculture polytechnics, setting up of MP middle class commission, increased interest rate for women in cooperative banks, special rights for senior citizens, medicare policy, a network of small and cottage industries in villages, establishment of Lok Kalakar Kalyan Mandal, provident fund for farm labourers and home delivery of select government facilities.
Some 56 schemes, which were introduced earlier, are being continued in this term also, and which include Ladli Lakshmi Yojana, Deen Dayal Teerth Darshan Yojana, Mukhyamantri Kanyadan Yojana, Beti bachao Abhiyaan, Janani Suraksha Yojana and many others.
Sankalp patra also features sections that detail long-term plans for various sectors. The first section is Sushasan (good governance) which was tasked with the setting up of an administrative reform commission. Accordingly, a commission was formed on 28 November 2016, and since then it has been advising the administration over reforms related to e-governance, calamity management, civil service management, police efficiency and many others.
Another section is dedicated to farmers. To fulfill the promise of increasing income for farmers, Mukhyamantri Bhavanatar Yojana was started. Under this scheme, farmers get additional income above the minimum support price for eight declared crops, which is deposited directly into their bank accounts. As promised, the Debt Relief Commission was formed that helped more than 17 lakh farmers who were unable to repay their loans by June 2017. They had been asked to deposit half of the debt amount by 15 June 2018 and those able to do so were given concession on interest and easy installments. Under Mukhyamantri Khet Teerth Yojana, farmers were taken to visit ideal farm from where they could learn better methods and techniques. To promote irrigation in Malwa region, Shivraj Singh Chouhan inaugurated Narmada-Malwa link on 28 September 2018.
To improve access to health care, a promise was made to increase medical seats in the state from 1,650 to 5,000, but presently there are only 2914. Also, contrary to opening of five new medical colleges, only two colleges have been opened in five years. Infant mortality rate in 2013 was 59 per 1000 has gone down to 47 but the state is still at the bottom among other states.
Madhya Pradesh’s commitment to tourism has been remarkable, with the state winning the Best Tourism state award consecutively for three years. Indore and Bhopal metro work has been progressing as scheduled. The plan to introduce shift system in government colleges to accommodate more students did not take off. However, Chouhan fulfilled his promise of promoting Hindi in technical studies. Today, many institutes in Madhya Pradesh offer engineering courses in Hindi.
So there were some hits and some misses in the administration of policy and projects, but it can be safely said that the MP government has kept more than half of the promises it made. But the actual report card of the Shivraj Singh Chouhan government will be the one delivered by the people on 11 December.