Uttar Pradesh Election 2017: Congress promises ‘qarza maaf, bijli half’ in manifesto

The focus of the party's manifesto seems to be on loan waivers for farmers and cheaper electricity. Interestingly, the issue of police reforms also figures in the manifesto.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: February 8, 2017 4:59 pm
congress manifesto, manifesto, Congress leaders releasing party manifesto before UP polls.

The Congress party released its manifesto for the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections on Wednesday. The party is fighting elections on 105 seats in the 403 seat Assembly election. Congress General Secretary in charge of Uttar Pradesh Ghulam Nabi Azad, UP Congress chief Raj Babbar, Salman Khurshid and other senior leaders released the manifesto in Lucknow on Wednesday at the Uttar Pradesh Congress Committee HQ.

The focus of the party’s manifesto seems to be on loan waivers for farmers and cheaper electricity. Interestingly, the issue of police reforms also figures in the manifesto. The party promises jobs to 50 lakh youths and promoting entrepreneurship among youth, particularly the minorities. However, the party didn’t reveal much details about the scheme.

Here are some highlights of the party’s manifesto:

1. ‘Qarza Maaf, Bijli Half’ is the prime issue taken in the party’s manifesto. The party promised the welfare scheme that proposes to waive off loans of debt ridden farmers and reducing the price of electricity for farmers and artisans by half.

2. Police reforms, interestingly, is an issue that figures among the top issues. The party proposes changes in police preparedness and response measures while citing guidelines issued by Supreme Court of India in Prakash Singh & Ors vs Union of India case for overhaul of police administration structure.

3. In a rare mention of women-specific poll promise, the party has proposed 50% reservation for women in Panchayat elections.

4. Push for better implementation of credit facilities for small-scale industry and self-employment. The party has also proposed a new Uttar Pradesh Skills and Employment Mission for skilling youths and ensuring jobs for 50 lakh youths. A separate cell looking after job creation is proposed to be created within the Chief Minister’s office.

5. For incentives to minorities, the party proposes a scheme to encourage young entrepreneurs to start their businesses but as a vague promise fails to give any details of the scheme.

6. It has proposed to reform the Mandi system while optimising fertiliser distribution in the state. It also promises farmers that they will be provided returns over and above the MSP announced by the Central Government by establishing an Agricultural Price Commission.

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