Delhi 2020

Will make Delhi a global city: Kejriwal

AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal during an election campaign in Jhilmil Colony, in New Delhi.

AAP convener Arvind Kejriwal during an election campaign in Jhilmil Colony, in New Delhi.  

The party promises all-round development of the city

Signalling its seriousness on governance, the Aam Aadmi Party borrowed the BJP's full statehood promise for Delhi and said it would turn the capital into a world class city that enjoyed free Wi-Fi.

Laying down a 70-point-action-plan to make “the Capital a city that takes pride in itself”, Aam Aadmi Party announced its manifesto for the Delhi Assembly Elections on Saturday.

In the document, the party has compiled all the promises it has been making over the last two months through Delhi Dialogue, an initiative of drawing up the party manifesto by combining the inputs from party members, domain experts and citizens.

While issues such as Jan Lokpal, Swaraj Bill and full Statehood find mention at the top of the action plan, the manifesto also talks about reducing electricity bills by half, installation of 15 lakh cameras and deployment of homeguards for women safety, making water as a right, opening 500 new schools and 20 new colleges and setting up 30,000 new beds in city hospitals.

Furthermore, it promises a pro-business regime in the form simplification of Value Added Tax.

Launching the manifesto at the Constitution Club here, AAP convenor and former Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal said his party would make the Capital a hub for education, tourism, trade and service sector to flourish and create more job opportunities.

“AAP will create eight lakh new jobs in the next five years.

AAP will facilitate innovative and private startup accelerators to provide support to entrepreneurs. We will create an ecosystem that enables private industry to create more jobs,” says the party's action plan.

If it instilled hopes for creation of new jobs, the party also announced schemes for the existing workforce on the city. Accusing the BJP-led centre of planning to bring down the retirement age of Union Government employees (lot of whom are voters in Delhi), Mr. Kejriwal said his government would not allow lowering of retirement age for Delhi government employees.

He also announced group housing scheme and cashless health scheme for those working for the State government.

Contracted employees working in Delhi may also stand to gain if AAP is voted to power, claims the manifesto. “AAP will fill 55,000 vacancies in the Delhi government and autonomous bodies of the Delhi Government on an immediate basis. 4,000 doctors and 15,000 nurses and paramedics will be made permanent,” the party said.

And while Mr. Kejriwal described the manifesto as a sacred document, even comparing it to holy books, opposition parties said the promises were unrealistic and could not be fulfilled in five years.

Taking a dig at the AAP manifesto, BJP's Delhi in-charge Prabhat Jha said only those who had no shot at power could make such promises.

Mr. Kejriwal himself was equally unforgiving towards both the BJP and the Congress on the question of manifesto. He said while Congress in the 15 years that it ruled Delhi did not start working on 80 per cent of its promises, BJP was scared to even come out with one for the Delhi Assembly Elections.

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Printable version | Feb 21, 2020 9:17:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/delhi-assembly/aap-manifesto-promises-to-make-delhi-a-global-city/article6842285.ece

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