New Delhi: With an eye on the crucial minority vote bank, Congress on Tuesday released its election manifesto for Uttar Pradesh promising to develop the state’s neglected infrastructure, create more employment opportunities and provide reservation for the most backward sections of the society.
Speaking on the occasion, Union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said, “Congress party’s manifesto promises to make Uttar Pradesh a corruption-free state. We will do everything in our capacity to improve people’s standard of living if we come to power after the Assembly Elections here.”
With an eye on attracting the Mahadalit votes, the manifesto promises a sub quota for the “most oppressed within the SCs” in government jobs and education. Along with this, STs too have not been neglected; the party has committed to pursuing a case for reinstatement of 9 tribes listed as SCs- Kols, Majhis, Korwas, Kuraus, Dhangars, Macheras, Ghasiyas, Badis and Koarais.
Attempting to woo the Dalit and other backward caste voters, the Congress party promised free legal aid to the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
In a bid to give boost to education sector, the party promised to create one lakh vacancies for teachers across the state.
Its manifesto also promises a school in every village of Uttar Pradesh and several residential schools for the SCs/STs and OBCs. The manifesto also promises that every SC/ST family would be given Rs 10,000 at the time of their daughters' wedding while all SC/ST families below poverty line would also get free electricity connections.
Sibal mentioned that the Congress would form a special cell to implement the manifesto and release annual report card.
The grand old party’s manifesto promises to provide a 50% reservation for women at the panchayat level.
In a bid to stop crime against women, we have promised to build a women’s police station in every district which will be managed by women police officers, the minister said.
“Congress party’s manifesto promises to bring the state’s chief minister under the ambit of the Lokayukta," he said, adding, "We will also concentrate on infrastructure building, revamping road and rail network in the state.”
“The Meerut- Delhi Highway will be upgraded to world class highway, make the state power surplus within five years and set up three new greenfield airports in the state,” he said.
Significantly, the party is also promising to extend the Delhi Metro to all NCR areas of UP within five years.
With an aim to boost employment in the state, localised industries will be revived through developing special commercial hubs across the state, he informed.
Special economic packages like the Central package for Bundelkhand have been promised for other backward regions like Mirzapur, Sonbhadra and Chandauli.
Farmers and agriculturalists, who are being assiduously wooed by the party, have been promised separate agricultural power grid to ensure farmers get adequate power supply, in fact promising eight hours supply for tube wells in the farm sector.
The manifesto also promises to provide loans to farmers at cheaper interest rates of 6%.
Acknowledging agriculture as a thrust area, the party promises to set up Dairy Mission on the AMUL model, a Pulses Mission, a Horticulture mission and launching of a new irrigation policy.
The 18 % minority vote bank, which all political parties in the state are hoping to cash in on, the most backward among them have been promised a reservation. In a major move to win over Muslim voters, the manifesto promises to notify Urdu as the state's second official language.
To boost its prospects among the sizeable youth votebank in the state, the party is promising to launch the UP Skills and Employment mission where in two million youth will be trained and given jobs.
The manifesto was released simultaneously on Tuesday afternoon from Lucknow, Allahabad, Varanasi, Kanpur, Agra, Gorakhpur, Shahjahanpur, Saharanpur, Jhansi and Bareilly.
Senior Congress leaders as well as Central ministers fanned out to these towns to launch the document.
They include Congress general secretary in charge of UP Digvijay Singh, Janardhan Dwivedi, Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit, Law Minister Salman Khurshid, Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal, Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal, Health Minister Ghulam Nabi Azad, Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh, I&B minister Ambika Soni, Punjab Chief Ministerial nominee Amarinder Singh and technocrat Sam Pitroda, among others.