With less than six days to go before the campaigning for the January 30 Assembly elections ends in Punjab,the Shiromani Akali Dal (SAD) on Sunday released its much-delayed manifesto,promising a slew of initiatives ranging from providing free laptops with Internet data-cards to all Class 12 students in government schools and free education to girls till graduation and to Dalit boys till Class 12,to unemployment allowance and providing provident fund for small farmers on pattern of government employees.
The SAD manifesto,which also talks of providing atta (wheat flour) at Re 1 per kg,also promises a strong,independent and autonomous institution of Lokayukta as designed by NDA and civil society. It says that the Right to Service Commission will be given powers to take suo motu notice of corruption in delivery of citizen-centric services and recommend punitive action.
In a rather ambitious move,the manifesto promises to make the entire state wi-fi enabled by providing round-the-clock Internet connectivity. It also proposes to create a separate environment ministry and skill development centre in public-private partnership mode.
Titled Development For All,the 40-page document released by party president Sukhbir Singh Badal stated that the SAD-BJP government delivered what it promised. The party aims to make Punjab power-surplus in a year and promises uninterrupted power supply. Talking about development,it promises to turn Malwa region into a textile hub and Ludhiana a recreational hub with race course,automobile,hosiery and handloom hub and says Jalandhar would be made sports capital of India while Amritsar would be the global tourism destination.
Sukhbir Singh Badal termed the manifesto as a vision document and not a political statement. Claiming that the SAD does not make hollow promises like the Congress,he said their party would turn Punjab into Dubai and Singapore.