Uttar pradesh

U.P. Assembly Elections | Comparing manifestos of the BJP, SP and Congress

Polling officials check EVMs and other polling material, ahead of the first phase of UP Assembly elections, at a distribution center, in Muzzaffarnagar, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Polling officials check EVMs and other polling material, ahead of the first phase of UP Assembly elections, at a distribution center, in Muzzaffarnagar, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022.

Days ahead of the first phase of the Uttar Pradesh Vidhan Sabha elections, the Samajwadi Party (SP), the Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) and the Indian National Congress (INC) unveiled their manifestos.

The incumbent BJP was to release its manifesto on February 6. However, the unveiling was postponed by a day owing to the demise of playback singer Lata Mangeshkar.

The three manifestos addressed some of the most potent issues related to agriculture, unemployment, education and overall economic upliftment of the State. However, the approach to addressing concerns in the three realms vary to a great extent.

Farming

Congress pledged relieving farmers of all debt within ten days of forming the government in Uttar Pradesh. SP put forth a 2025 deadline for the same. The Akhilesh Yadav-led outfit also spoke of setting up a rural microfinance bank to provide loans to farmers without any collateral.

BJP’s manifesto opens with promising free electricity for all irrigation-related activities. Further, it assures an outlay of ₹ 5,000 crore under the Mukhyamantri Krishi Sichai Yojna (CM Farmer Irrigation Plan). The party speaks of structural reforms to facilitate growth in the sector, not restricting itself to crop procurement formulations alone. For example, the BJP speaks of solar power initiative and establishing 4,000 Farmer Produce Organisations (FPO) with an endowment of ₹ 18 lakh each.

Samajwadi Party and the Congress present different formulas for crop procurement. SP promises calculating the minimum support price (MSP) for crop procurement using the Swaminathan Commission formula: C2+50%. Further, it says it would procure notified crops (such as potato) as per a ‘price compensation system’. INC pledges procurement of paddy and wheat at ₹ 2,500 per quintal and sugarcane at ₹ 400 for each quintal. BJP restricts itself to promising procurement at MSP rates for the next five years. For sugarcane farmers, the ruling party proposes to ensure payment within fourteen days. Else, an additional interest payment would be accrued from sugar mills would be paid to farmers.

MSMEs capital infrastructure and jobs

BJP puts forth a claim of doubling the per capita income of the State. Further, it vows to attract investment of ₹ 10 lakh crore and top the list of States in ease of doing business. The party’s plan of action includes setting up industrial corridors near expressways. It states that this would lead to creation of 5 lakh jobs for the youth. The party’s ambitions include enabling three crore direct employment or self-employment opportunities. The idea here is to have at least one directly or self-employed person in each family.

Samajwadi Party’s plan of action proposes scaling up the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA). The proposition is here is to enable a mechanism for temporary employment until the enrolled youth is able to find a more permanent means of employment. Other than MNREGA, SP’s plan of action would focus on upscaling the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to create one crore jobs by 2027.

The Congress proposes a better mechanism for MSMEs to have easy access to credit and without any collateral via the Credit Guarantee Fund Trust. The party also proposes reforms to enable more nuanced access to resources for carrying out production and essential inputs such as electricity.

Other than MSMEs, all the three parties assured filing up vacancies in Government offices once voted to power.

Women empowerment

The three prime contestants have endowed greater focus on enabling greater women participation.Congress General Secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra stated on Wednesday that the party had furnished 40% of tickets to women candidates. She went further in her manifesto and promised smartphone to all female students in Class 10and 12, and electric two-wheelers to every female graduate. Two-wheelers to female graduates also found space in BJP’s manifesto. SP’s manifesto promised cycle and solar-powered lamp to female students Class 9thonwards.

For women’s safety, the BJP proposed installing CCTVs at all public places. Additionally, it vowed to double the female strength in Uttar Pradesh Public Services Commission (UPPSC).

SP’s manifesto stood out with its assertion of joint and equal ownership of familial land. It spoke of carving initiatives that would enable transfer of land to the female next of kin.

Society, law and order

BJP’s manifesto puts forth ten years of punishment and ₹ 1 lakh fine for Love Jihad offences. It proposessetting up an Anti-Terrorist Commando Centre in Deoband. Similar centres would be set up in Meerut, Rampur, Azamgarh and Kanpur. It spoke of setting up a cyber help desk in every police station.

Congress spoke of setting up of a Police Lokpal to investigate irregularities after filing of a chargesheet or a closure report. The party added that the CBI would be called for only in specific cases and not for “political motivations”. The manifesto also mentioned altering gun licensing.

SP spoke of strengthening and upgrading of police helpline numbers 100/112 and women helpline number 1090. It vowed to install a fast-track court in every district.

The Akhilesh Yadav-spearheaded party promised 33% female representation in the State police force. The Congress promised appointment of female officers exclusively in their home districts.


Our code of editorial values

This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Jun 20, 2022 10:04:19 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/elections/uttar-pradesh-assembly/up-assembly-elections-comparing-manifestos-of-the-bjp-sp-and-congress/article38402498.ece