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Congress manifesto seeks full Statehood for Delhi

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit releasing the party manifesto for Delhi Assembly polls on Wednesday.- Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit releasing the party manifesto for Delhi Assembly polls on Wednesday.- Photo: Sushil Kumar Verma  

Claiming that the city would have witnessed better development had her government not been “shackled by the present governance structure of Delhi characterised by a multiplicity of agencies and authorities,” Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Wednesday reiterated her demand to grant full statehood to Delhi.

Unveiling the election manifesto of the Congress for the upcoming Delhi Assembly elections in the presence of senior Congress leaders from Delhi, Ms. Dikshit urged the people “to choose a government which has raftar and anubhav (efficient and experienced),” when they go out to vote on December 4.

Stating that infrastructure development and social benefits extended to the people of Delhi were because of the initiatives of the Delhi government and the UPA government at the Centre, the manifesto reads: “The multiplicity of agencies and authorities needs to be replaced by a unified command structure, fully empowered to take decisions and issue directions on all matters, including land, municipal governance and (the) police.”

Asserting that the National Capital Region (NCR) has become a hub of economic development; Ms. Dikshit demanded that the NCR be converted into a common economic zone with a common tax regime.

The manifesto, which the Chief Minister claimed was inclusive in approach, documents several promises, including double-decker flyovers, to mitigate the traffic problem in the city, increasing number of evening colleges in Delhi University and a new university of health sciences with five medical colleges.

The manifesto also promises piped water supply to all, improving the public distribution system by deploying vending machines at fair price shops, providing housing to the homeless and slum dwellers, upgrading the Bhagidari and Ladli scheme and constituting a central parking authority to tackle the problem of parking in the city. In an apparent reference to the functioning of BJP-ruled municipal corporations, the manifesto promised to construct toilet blocks in each Assembly segment. The manifesto also promises to construct Shramik Ashraya for homeless migrant labours.

While the Congress leaders claimed that “unlike other political parties their manifesto contains only achievable targets,” the document contains promises which figured in the 2008 manifesto also. They are providing housing, commissioning of new sewerage and water treatment plants and augmenting the power generation capacity.

Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee president J.P. Agrawal tried to play this down stating that “houses would soon be allotted to the homeless as they are on the verge of completion.”

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