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BJP releases first ‘Delhi-specific’ manifesto ahead of Lok Sabha poll
Hoping to wrest seven Lok Sabha seats in national capital, BJP on Wednesday made an array of promises like granting full statehood, reducing power tariff by 30 percent and controlling price rise within one month if voted to power, in its first ‘Delhi-specific’ manifesto ahead of general elections.
The party, which had lost all the seats to Congress in 2009 Lok Sabha polls, said it will set up a helpline for the national capital to receive complaints of corruption which appears to be on the lines of the call centre launched by the then AAP government in January.
It also promised to bring police, DDA and other land-owning agencies under one roof to streamline governance.
The manifesto was released at a function attended by senior Delhi BJP leaders and the party’s all seven candidates. The BJP is yet to come out with its national manifesto.
Speaking on the occasion, Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan, who is contesting from Chandni Chowk, said if BJP is voted to power at the Centre, it would work towards granting full statehood to Delhi.
“We have been demanding full statehood for last five decades. A bill in this regard was introduced in parliament when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the Prime Minister, but it could not be made into a law after a report was not filed on time by the select committee. This election which is being fought to make Narendra Modi the prime minister of the country, the first thing we will demand from him is to give the status of full statehood to Delhi,” said Vardhan.
Vardhan said BJP was aiming to make Delhi as the “solar energy capital” of the country by encouraging people to install solar panels on roof tops of their houses.
He reiterated BJP’s promise made before the assembly election that power tariff will be reduced by 30 per cent by promoting competition among private power distribution companies. He said the discoms will be brought under the purview of RTI act and CAG.
Talking about the promises made in the manifesto, Vardhan said, “Three months backs, Delhi BJP had announced its manifesto before the Delhi assembly polls through its ‘Dus din, dus irade’ (10 days, 10 determinations) campaign. This election manifesto is reiteration of all those promises with some modifications.”
On the issue of combating corruption, Vardhan said there is a need to have laws like Jan Lokpal, but more important is to weed out itsroot cause by bringing in transparency in government’s function.
“Prevention is better than cure. There is a need to make all the government’s decisions and procedure transparent. We will follow the policy of ‘transparency at its peak’ and will promote e-governance. All tenders will be made available on the website and the process of awarding big tenders will be video graphed,” said Vardhan.
He added that the institution of Lokayukta will be made effective with sufficient powers. Moreover, an accountability commission will also be established for ensuring efficient use of public money, Vardhan said.
Exuding confidence of winning maximum seats in the Lok Sabha polls, Vardhan said, “We believe that the 2014 Lok Sabha polls is the most important elections in the history of India. The elections results will be unprecedented for BJP. The country has decided to see Narendra Modi as the prime minister of the country.”
“He has become a symbol of aspiration of crores of Indians today. He represents good governance, honesty, transparency and is a symbol of hope for youths.”
The party also promised to provide safe drinking water, rationalise the tariff and focus on rain water harvesting. It promised to use developed technological models for modernising, rationalising and optimising for the existing sewage system.
Emphasising on taking steps for safety and security of women, Vardhan said fast track courts would be set up to deal with heinous crimes against women and senior citizens, besides the government would open more hostels for working women.
“A fast track justice commission will be set up to look into the evening courts and other effective means for the speedy disposal of cases,” he added.
BJP also promised to constitute a SIT to ensure speedy justice for the 1984 anti-Sikh riot victims. The AAP-led Delhi government in February had also announced formation of SIT and fixed a time frame of one year to complete its probe.
In view of increasing cases of violence against people from North East, Vardhan said a special cell would be be set up in police stations, besides providing a helpline number to register complaints.
BJP promised that for the welfare of minority communities, training centres for skill development and entrepreneurship would be set up. A Madrassa Board would also be set up and it would be integrated with the modern education.
Vardhan said the developmental plan would be for everyone including all minorities communities. “BJP follows the policy of justice for everybody and appeasement of none,” he said. BJP also promised to provide health facilities to all with the launch of Universal Health Insurance and set up trauma centres in all districts.
If voted to power, it also plans to re-implement Essential Drugs Policy, under which medicines of 25 types would be provided free of cost to every Delhi citizen throughout lifetime.
It proposes to invest 30 per cent of health budget for promotion of preventive health care and settting up of OPDs for health facilities in economically weaker section colonies.
Vardhan accused Congress of “cheating” the poor in the name of ‘Rajiv Ratan Awas Yojna’ five years ago, and said BJP would ensure in situ construction of multi-storied houses for jhuggi dwellers under its ‘Atal Bihari Vajpayee Jan Punarwas yojna’.
The party also assured regularisation of all unauthorised colonies to be developed as DDA colonies for which layout fund would be provided by the government.
The manifesto also stated the party would implement long awaited mono rail, which would be complimentary with Delhi Metro, to ensure all areas of the capital are covered by it. The party vowed to give ownership rights to landless labourers in villages and expand Lal Dora area.
Under the social welfare schemes, Vardhan said his government would increase the pension of elderly, physically challenged, widows and destitute women from current Rs 1,000/Rs 1,500 to Rs 2,000.
Also a Senior Citizen Commission would be set up to address their concerns. In the field of education, the party said it would set up a new campus of Delhi University-“East Delhi Campus”, and the Delhi University would return to three year degree course as before instead of the four year course implemented last year.
To facilitate employment generation opportunities for the youth, the BJP government would constitute “Atal Yuwa Mission” to set up IT zones in Nazafgarh, Narela and Bijwasan, Vardhan said. To simplify and rationalise the VAT, registered dealers would be provided with accidental insurance cover of Rs four lakh, the interest of small and micro retailers would be protected and would end all unnecessary forms to be filed by trades and businessmen.