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U.P. civic polls: BJP launches manifesto

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath releases the BJP's Sankalpa Patra at the party office in Lucknow on Sunday.

Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath releases the BJP's Sankalpa Patra at the party office in Lucknow on Sunday.   | Photo Credit: Rajeev Bhatt

In its manifesto for the municipal polls in Uttar Pradesh, the ruling BJP has promised to provide “world-class facilities” to urban residents.

The BJP is the only party to release a centralised manifesto for the local body polls. Traditionally, candidates have issued constituency-based manifestos during campaign.

Sankalp Patr

Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath released the 14-page “Sankalp Patr,” a document along the lines of the manifesto released by the party for the 2017 Assembly elections. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah are displayed prominently on the top of the cover page.

The document mentions 28 sankalps for urban Uttar Pradesh, covering basic facilities such as drinking water, health, housing, waste management, power supply, lighting, traffic, transportation and sanitation.

Free taps

The BJP has promised a free tap connection to every household, Rs. 20,000 for building private toilets in each house and LED street lights. The party assured that all faulty street lights would be repaired or replaced within 48 hours.

The party also promised to build gaushalas in major cities along the lines of the ‘Kanha Upvan’ cow shelter in Lucknow, and build or repair ‘Kanji houses,’ temporary shelter homes for stray cattle.

The BJP has said it will start air-conditioned bus services in all major cities, provide free Wi-Fi at major public places, build pink toilets for women at main market places, and link tourist sites in all six areas of the State with helicopter services.

Mr. Adityanath said, “We enter every election like it is an examination. The Opposition is already running away from the field.”

Mini governments

Terming the municipal boards “chhoti sarkars” or mini governments, Mr. Adityanath said their coordination with the State government was essential for pushing development to the grass roots.

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav criticised the BJP for releasing the manifesto, saying it was "part of a conspiracy to dissolve the impartiality of the municipal polls." 

Deceit, says Yadav

Mr. Yadav termed the BJP's document a "Chhal Patr," where chhal stands for deceit. "The so-called Sankalp Patr has no credibility. The BJP also does not have any credibility. Voters of UP have not forgotten that the BJP has not fulfilled a single promise it made in the Vidhan Sabha polls eight months ago. Disorder and chaos have spread in the state under the BJP government," said Mr. Yadav. 

Going beyond the manifesto, Mr. Adityanath, who is himself expected to start campaigning for the municipal polls, starting from Ayodhya,  also said that his government was working to introduce the concept of "one district, one product," under which the traditional and specialised products of each district would be promoted. 

In the Sankalp Patr, the BJP has said it would nominate three best municipal corporations, five Nagar Palikas and 10 Nagar Panchayats each year for the "Deendayal Adarsh Nikai Puraskar," judged on basic parameters of development. The best slums would be awarded the "Smart Shehri Basti" award, while an "Adarsh Nagar Panchayat" would be chosen from each district. 

The BJP manifesto also says that it would repair old and damaged water pipelines within a year, put electric wires underground so that road widening can take place, introduce GPS facility for trolleys and e-rickshaws used for door-to-door waste collection, construct e-rickshaw and bicycle stands.   

Polls would be held for over 650 posts, including 16 Mayors and 200 Nagar Palika Parishads, starting November 22 in three phases. Results will be declared on December 1.

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Printable version | Sep 18, 2020 5:58:00 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/up-civic-polls-bjp-launches-manifesto-to-woo-voters/article20319199.ece

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