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Congress manifesto woos migrants, promises trams, flyovers

Congress manifesto woos migrants, promises trams, flyovers

New Delhi: Double-decker flyovers, trams, dwelling units for migrant labourers and doubling the gross domestic product of the city are among the promises made by the Congress in its manifesto for the Dec 4 Delhi assembly polls.

The manifesto was released Wednesday by three-time Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, who said "inclusive growth" and the social sector would be areas of focus for the Congress party, which hopes for a fourth term in office.

Dikshit also proposed a common economic taxation zone for the National Capital Region and single command for Delhi, which, she said, will reduce the multiplicity of authorities.

"We will ask the centre to give us a single command for Delhi. We will also request a common economic zone for the NCR," she told journalists.

The chief minister also promised 73 lakh people in Delhi subsidised food grains under the Food Security Act.

The Congress will also work towards full statehood for Delhi.

Delhi became a state in 1992 under the system of diarchy where the elected government is given wide powers, except law and order, which remains with the central government.

Wooing the migrant population in Delhi, Dikshit said: "Migrants come here every year and whoever comes to Delhi once, doesn't leave, that's how good the city is."

Of the 16 million population of Delhi, six million are migrants.

"We will create dedicated hawking zones so that they (migrant population) are not harassed by police or the MCD (Municipal Corporation of Delhi) officials," said Dikshit.

"Delhi's GDP is highest in the country, at 10.33 percent, in the last five years. We will try to double it," she said.

She said if voted to power, her government would build housing units in place of existing slums which are largely inhabited by poor migrants from neighbouring states.

The manifesto said four lakh flats would be constructed for economically weaker sections of society.

The manifesto booklet, titled 'Anubhav hai raftar hai, Congress fir is bar hai' (There is experience and speed, the Congress will return) promises 20 public toilets in each of the assembly constituencies, piped water, shelter for labourers, 25 percent green cover and mono rail.

The party has also proposed subsidised water up to 40 litres for domestic consumers.

Water has become a major political issue with the incumbent Congress drawing flak for its proposal to privatise the sector.

In the power sector, the party talks of promoting solar power by installing panels on rooftops.

The creation of 30,000 jobs every year and opening educational institutions for young people also find mention in the 16-page manifesto.

The present education scheme - Laadli - for the girl child's education would be extended to "Kabil Laadli" in which Rs.50,000 would be spent on the skill development of each girl after she finishes school.

It also talks about broadening the "Bhagidari" scheme which is based on drawing upon suggestions from Residents' Welfare Associations for work in different areas.

Said All India Congress Committee general secretary Shakeel Ahmed: "Our manifesto is close to reality and wrong promises made by other parties are not there in it."

Delhi is headed for a triangular contest in December with the Aam Aadmi Party as the new player, joining the Bharatiya Janata Party and the Congress in vying for votes.


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