Giving the traditional party manifesto a miss this elections, the AAP launched its Delhi Dialogue campaign — a 50-point blueprint for making Delhi a world class city — at Jantar Mantar on Saturday. AAP leaders said their new campaign was to hold consultations with various sections of society, identify issues and chalk out measures to solve them.
Stating that prior to every election, each party releases a manifesto, which is soon forgotten, AAP leader Yogendra Yadav said, “The Delhi Dialogue team decided that we will not announce our ideas through a manifesto. We will hold discussions with people and announce our plans in front of them. Today’s event is the first such platform where the AAP is discussing issues that are faced by the youth. We will have several such discussions in the future.”
Addressing a gathering of over 5,000 supporters at Jantar Mantar, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal promised the youth five things — promote higher education, create jobs, improve sports facilities, provide free WiFi across the city and make the capital drug-free.
While Kejriwal did not apologise for resigning as Delhi chief minister, he praised the measures taken by his 49-day government — power and water subsidies, reduction in corruption and audit of discoms.
“One thing was clear in those 49 days, we fulfilled our promises. Ask anyone in Delhi, they will say a few things about AAP — it is honest, it is brave and it fulfills its promises. Every issue discussed here will be addressed,” Kejriwal said.
From 20 new colleges and increase in seats in existing colleges to scholarships and education loans for Class XII pass-outs, the AAP chief proposed a series of measures for boosting higher education.
“Students with 90 per cent marks do not get admission in colleges of their choice. This is because no new colleges have opened in Delhi in many years. If any Class XII pass-out wants to study, the government will take the responsibility to provide them education. Seats in colleges will be doubled. Twenty more colleges will be opened,” Kejriwal said.
In an effort to mobilise support in rural parts of the capital, Kejriwal said new colleges will be opened primarily in villages which are willing to provide land for the purpose. He promised that students from the village will be given preference in these colleges. “The government will take the responsibility of paying back loans in cases where students do not find employment. We have spoken to banks and the cost incurred in a year will not exceed Rs 300-400 crore,” he said.
The event also saw the AAP parading around 10 leaders of the Bahujan Samaj Party and the Congress, announcing that they have joined the AAP ranks.