Key issues still missing in parties' UP election winning big promisestext_fields
With Uttarakhand ready to vote on February 14, the political parties in the state have started releasing their election manifestos. On February 9, the BJP leader and Union Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Nitin Gadkari, in presence of other BJP leaders released BJPs 'Vision Document 2022' in Dehradun.
Not only this, a week back even the Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi Vadra released their manifesto titled 'Uttarakhand Swabhiman Pratigya Patra' through a virtual rally that was live-streamed in all 70 constituencies of the state.
With both the strong competitors in the state, i.e. the BJP and the Congress, releasing their manifesto, it has become clear how big the issue of unemployment and migration is.
In their 'vision document 2022', the BJP has promised to provide Rs. 6000 per year to poor farmers. This amount will be given in addition to what the farmers are already getting under the PM Kisan Samman Nidhi.
Apart from this, the BJP also plans to give Rs. 2000 to women of Below Poverty Line (BPL) families and an additional Rs. 1000 to take care of their small children.
Even Congress president Priyanka Gandhi Vadra promised to reserve 40% jobs for women in the police force and provide employment to around 400,000 people if they are voted to power. Apart from this, their party also promised to increase the salary of Anganwadi workers by a whopping 150% and also provide free travel for women in state transport.
In order to take on the BJP, the Congress manifesto promised to withdraw all the cases that were filed against the farmers during the farmers' agitation against the much controversial and now repealed three farm laws. However, the highlight of the Congress manifesto was to cap the price of the LPG cylinder around Rs. 500, which currently costs around Rs. 915.
While releasing the manifesto, Congress senior leader and the chairman of the campaign committee for Uttarkhand, Mr Harish Rawat said that "The party's main focus will be to provide relief to the common man by giving LPG cylinder under ₹500 and 400,000 jobs in five years. We also promise health facilities in all villages using modern technology and self-reliance amount of ₹40,000 per year to 500,000 families in the state who are struggling to meet their ends."
However, Congress received criticism from the BJP leaders over the promise of providing LPG cylinders at Rs. 500. Uttarakhand BJP President Madan Kaushik asked Congress why LPG cylinders were being sold for more than Rs. 500 in Congress ruled states?
Stricter Law on Love Jihad
The BJP, with an aim to attract the Hindu voters of the region, has promised to implement a stricter law on 'Love-Jihad' and at the same time promised necessary measures to stop the demographic changes in Uttarakhand.
Former Union Minister and the chairman of the manifesto committee, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that "we aim to make the love-jihad law stricter with a provision of 10 years of rigorous imprisonment." He further added that "committees at the district level will be set up to look into the complaints of the demographic changes due to land grabbing."
Uttarakhand is among the many BJP ruled states where anti-conversion laws are already in place. The law states that "force or fraudulent conversions done through any kind of force or allurement" are non-bailable offences and a provision of a 5-year jail term is there. The BJP has also made a similar promise while launching its manifesto in Uttar Pradesh.
Focus on Improving Infrastructure
Both the BJP and Congress have promised to undertake some important infrastructure projects. Mr Gadkari, while releasing the BJP manifesto, said that 'ethics, economy, ecology, and environment are the important pillars of their manifesto.
He promised to complete the ongoing Char Dham highway project by December. The project aims to connect the four Hindu pilgrimage sites, namely Gangotri, Yamunotri, Kedarnath, and Badrinath, with an estimated cost of around Rs.12000 Crore.