BJP promises farm loan waiver, jobs, rakes up triple talaq (Roundup)
Lucknow, Jan 28 (IANS) The BJP on Saturday sought to woo different sections of society in Uttar Pradesh, making a slew of promises in its election manifesto, including farm loan waiver, round-the-clock power, 70 lakh employment opportunities. It also raked up the controversial issues of triple talaq and construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya.
The manifesto, released by BJP chief Amit Shah here in the presence of senior state leaders, promised free education for girls till graduation, laptops to youth, 90 per cent reservation for state domiciles in jobs, filling of all pending vacancies in one year and free books and uniforms for school children from poor families.
Asked how the BJP could counter criticim of pandering to “dynastic rule” by giving ticket to the offspring of party leaders, Shah instead took a dig at Congress Vice-President Rahul Gandhi, saying that if the Congress leader were to get married, his child would be anointed the next leader of the opposition party.
Shah said Uttar Pradesh had been “left behind” in the race for development and the country’s GDP cannot touch double digits without the state registering fast growth.
Slamming Samajwadi Party and Bahujan Samaj Party which have ruled the state for the past two terms, he said the BJP will bring an “era of performing politics”.
“We will make Uttar Pradesh a developed state in five years,” he said.
Referring to the issue of triple talaq, Shah said the BJP government will seek the opinion of Muslim women in Uttar Pradesh and accordingly approach the Supreme Court where the issue is pending. The Allahabad High Court had in December last year termed triple talaq as “cruelty against Muslim women”. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) differed with the decision but the concept of triple talaq has come under attack from Muslim women activists.
On the Ram temple, Shah said a BJP government will work towards its construction under “constitutional ambit”.
Shah said a special task force will be set up to look into the charges of corruption against the Akhilesh Yadav-led government.
“Ever since we were voted to power, we have given almost Rs 2.5 lakh crore to the state government for use in various schemes but nobody knows where the money has gone. I would like to ask Akhilesh Yadav ji to explain the whereabouts of these funds,” Shah said.
The manifesto has made several promises for the farmers, youth, women and the poor sections.
Seeking to woo the farming community, which has a sizeable presence in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP has promised to waive off loans of small and marginal farmers and provide them interest at zero percent interest.
He said sugarcane farmers would be paid for their crops within 14 days from sugar mills and pending arrears of around Rs 6,000 crore will be cleared within 120 days.
Shah said a Chief Minister Agriculture Irrigation Scheme would be started with a budget of Rs 20,000 crore in Bundelkhand region.
The BJP, he said, will ban the illegal and automatic slaughter houses in the state and a Dairy Development Fund will be started with corpus of Rs 150 crore.
Shah said BJP would give a bond of Rs 50,000 if a girl child is born in a poor family. He said such a girl will be given different amounts as she reaches Class 12 and will get Rs two lakh when she attains the age of 21.
The BJP also promised to double widow pension.
Referring to laptop scheme started by Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, Shah said a BJP government will not discriminate in their distribution.
“We will distribute laptops to youth with 1 GB free internet for an year,” he said.
He said 1.5 lakh vacancies in police will be filled on merit with provisions of quota and interviews for Class III and IV posts will be abolished.
Shah said girls will be given free education till graduation under the Ahilyabai Kanya Free Education Scheme and boys will get free education till Class 12. He said boys scoring over 50 percent marks in Class 12 will be entitled to free education till their graduation.
“For higher education of children from poor families, a Babasaheb Ambedkar Scholarship Fund will be set up with allocation of Rs 500 crore. Arrangement will be made to provide books, school uniform, shoes and school bag to children from poor families till Class 12.”
The manifesto talks of Rs 1,000 crore start-up venture capital fund and promises setting up of the country’s biggest start-up incubator.
The BJP has promised 10 universities of international level, engineering college or polytechnic in each district and free Wi-Fi connections in all colleges and universities.
On law and order, Shah said criminals will be put behind bars, FIRs will be registered without any bias and a special task force formed to tackle land and mining mafias in each district.
Shah said that metro train service will be started in new areas.
On health, he said 25 new medical colleges will be set up and an All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) established in six different zones of the state.
(Anand Singh can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)