Delhi 2020: Congress promises unemployment allowance, free electricity up to 300 units

Party releases two manifestos, with the second one aimed at reducing air pollution; Maken says party drew points from Congress-ruled States like Punjab, Chhattisgarh, M.P.

Updated - February 03, 2020 07:31 am IST

Published - February 03, 2020 01:39 am IST - New Delhi

(From left) Congress senior leaders — Rajeev Gowda, Ajay Maken, Subhash Chopra, Anand Sharma, and Kuljit Singh Nagra — release party manifesto for State Assembly polls on Sunday.

(From left) Congress senior leaders — Rajeev Gowda, Ajay Maken, Subhash Chopra, Anand Sharma, and Kuljit Singh Nagra — release party manifesto for State Assembly polls on Sunday.

The Congress on Sunday released two manifestos for the Delhi Assembly elections — the first one focussing on creating jobs, new pension scheme, and cashback schemes for water and electricity and the second one on ways to curb the rising air pollution in the Capital.

Party stand on CAA

The Congress said if voted to power, the party would by February 21, pass a resolution in the Delhi Assembly demanding the Center to drop the Citizenship (Amendment) Act. It added that it would also not let the Centre implement the National Population Register (NPR) in its current form as well as the National Register for Citizens (NRC).

The manifesto also mentions that it stands in solidarity with everyone who has raised the National Flag in support of the Constitution and in opposition to the BJP’s version of NPR, NRC and CAA. The party promised that within the first six months, it would introduce a strong Lokpal in Delhi.

Delhi Congress chief Subhash Chopra, manifesto committee chairman Ajay Maken and Rajya Sabha MP Anand Sharma while releasing the document said unlike the BJP and AAP that only made false promises, their party has a track record of fulfilling promises. The leaders said even in other States, which are being ruled by the Congress, the party had fulfilled all promises made ahead of the elections.

Mr. Maken said Congress’ social welfare schemes have been included after working out their financial viability — like unemployment allowance and the pension scheme.

He said unemployment allowances have been modelled on the patterns of Congress-ruled States like Punjab and Chhattisgarh while some other points in the manifesto have also been drawn from other Congress-ruled States like Madhya Pradesh. He said unlike in Delhi, the power subsidies in the Congress-ruled States are going into the kitties of government companies.

The party promised to launch “Yuva Swabhiman Yojna”, which seeks to provide unemployment allowance of ₹5,000 for graduates and ₹7,500 for postgraduates per month. It will also provide them skill training to help them get employed. The party said they will start an incentive for young entrepreneurs to open startups with the Delhi Congress investing ₹1,000 crore per year for the next five years. The Congress promised industrial power at ₹6/unit to promote non-polluting industries. This will also ensure that the industries do not move out of the city and help provide employment.

The party promised to launch schemes to provide incentive to conserve electricity and water. They said they would introduce a cashback scheme in which money will be directly transferred to the consumer if the household consumes less than the amount of water/electricity that will be provided free.

The party said it will provide free electricity upto 300 units and a 50% discount to consumers using 300-400 units. The consumers using 400-500 units and those between 500-600 units will be given a 30% and 25% discount respectively. It added that instead of transferring money to private companies like in the case of the AAP government, customers would be benefited by as there will be direct transfers.

The manifesto said the party will spend 25% of the Budget each year on fighting pollution and improving transport facilities. The party said it will increase the green cover to 30% and make Delhi India’s first “electric vehicle city” via The Delhi Electrical Vehicles Initiative (DEVI) by procuring 15,000 electric buses.

It has also promised to work with governments of Punjab and if possible with the governments of Haryana and U.P. to help convert rice stubble to energy with an aim to solve the problems of smog.

In the healthcare sector, the party has promised to build 10 super-speciality hospitals in the next five years and add 5,000 maternity beds. For the benefit of senior citizens, persons with disabilities, and transgender persons without any source of income, it has promised — Sheila Pension Yojna — under which ₹5,000 will be given to the above-mentioned categories.

The party has also promised to regularise all unauthorised colonies and spend ₹35,000 crore in five years for the upliftment of these colonies. It has promised in-situ rehabilitation to jhuggi dwellers where each family will get a 350 sq-feet flat at the same place on the lines of projects that the Congress had taken up in Kathputli Colony and Kalkaji.

A dig at BJP

The party said the elections will be fought on local issues and that it would resist all attempts by the BJP to polarise the election by delivering “inflammatory” speeches.

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