Lucknow: Bharatiya Janata Party released its manifesto and Congress its vision document for the Uttar Pradesh assembly elections on Friday with the saffron party promising to build a Ram temple at Ayodhya and the grand old party offering to create 20 lakh jobs for unemployed youths.
The BJP promised that if voted to power in Uttar Pradesh, it would remodel the multi-billion rupee monuments and parks erected by Chief Minister Mayawati and oppose the UPA government's move for 4.5 percent quota for backward minorities.
While terming Mayawati's fad for statues and memorials in the name of her party icons as "no different from the Congress party's obsession for naming anything and everything after some of its leaders", the manifesto makes it loud and clear, "we will add statues of other great leaders and social reformers in the parks and memorials built at a cost of thousands of crores."
It goes on to add, "after all, these memorials and parks have been built with the tax-payer's money and are not private property of any political party."
Addressing the media on the occasion, BJP leader Om Prakash Singh said, “BJP’s manifesto gives due consideration to problems of the farmers, dalits, backwards, poor and unemployed youths. We have promised to create five lakh jobs and also Rs 18,000 allowance for the unemployed youths of the state, if the party manages to form its government. "
“The manifesto has also promised tablets for high school students for Rs 1000 and laptops for class XII students for Rs 5000,” he added.
Hitting out at the Congress’ minority reservation card, Singh said, “We will scrap the provision of sub-quota of 4.5% for minorities within the existing 27% quota for Other Backward Classes (OBCs).”
On his turn, BJP's Sudheendra Kulkarni said, “We will make Uttar Pradesh the best state in the country."
"BJP will have a strong lokayukta. Chief Minister will come under the purview of the lokayukta and it will be given a prosecution wing," he added.
Kulkarni also said that BJP will install statues of other thinkers and idols like Sant Kabir, Sant Ravidas, Bijli Pasi and Jhalkari Bai to name a few.
The party, which has already released its vision document for all round development of the state, released its manifesto in presence of senior leaders of the party, including national vice-presidents Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, Kalraj Mishra, Uma Bharati, general secretary Narendra Singh Tomar, Om Praksh Singh and state president Surya Pratap Shahi.
Congress’ ‘Vision Document’
With an aim to foster growth and development in politically crucial state of Uttar Pradesh, the Congress on Friday released its "Vision Document 2020", laying special emphasis on sectors like education, employment and economy.
Unveiling the road map for growth, Union Law Minister Salman Khurshid said, “Congress party is releasing the Vision Document 2020 prepared under the able guidance of party chief Sonia Gandhi and general secretary Rahul Gandhi for the all round development of Uttar Pradesh with special focus on generating more employment opportunities and improving the law and order situation here.”
Speaking to reporters, Khurshid said, “Congress party aims at creating 20 lakh jobs in the next five years and for that, special training institutes will be set up across the state.”
Assuring Rs 3000 crore relief package for state’s weavers, Khurshid said, “Social justice remains our main focus.”
Referring to the recent controversy over sub-quota for minorities, the Congress leader said, “Existing reservation policy needs to be addressed, we have promised 50% reservation for women’s at the panchayat levels.”
Highlighting key aspects of the document released at the party office here, Salman Khurshid said that a Congress government in the state will ensure that land is acquired with consent of owners and those affected get livelihood security.
The vision document is a reflection of the promise made by Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi to transform the state in 10 years. Gandhi, who is party's lead campaigner in the state, had said in his election rallies that Congress will bring Uttar Pradesh among frontline states of the country in ten years.
"The Congress takes a pledge to restore UP (Uttar Pradesh) to its rightful place in the country; a UP that once again shows the entire country the way," says the opening line of the document.
Even as the title talks about "Vision for 2020", Khurshid sought to impress upon all that the party was all set to ride on to power in the state where it last ruled about 23 years ago.
Embarking on the all important issue of rampant corruption, he said: "As a part of our effort to introduce complete transparency in the working of the government, we are planning to put up a citizen's charter in all government offices whereby a time frame will be prescribed for delivery of all public services."
"Strict action will be taken against those found guilty of corrupt practices."
Khurshid said, Uttar Pradesh was dependent on farming and the document pays special attention to farmers. He said land acquisition should take place by consent of land owners and land should not go to "those who are already powerful."
The document also lays out special development plans for Bundelkhand in a bid to blunt Mayawati's attempt to woo voters through proposal of carving four separate states out of Uttar Pradesh.
The party leaders who released the document across the state included union ministers Kapil Sibal and Sriprakash Jaiswal and Delhi Chief Minister Shiela Dikshit.