UP: It's BJP's freebies vs Cong's job promises

CNN-IBN
Jan 27, 2012 at 05:49pm IST

New Delhi: There was more action in the battle for Uttar Pradesh as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its manifesto and the Congress released its 'Vision Document 2020' on Thursday. While the BJP's manifesto promises freebies including a cow for every BPL family in the state, the Congress's vision document promises 20 lakh jobs and a new land acquisition law.

The BJP, playing its Hindutva card, announced that it will honour its old promise of a Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.

Although the party is opposed to Muslim sub-quota, the BJP has promised inclusive development for Muslims. Following the Samajwadi Party's (SP) footsteps, the BJP has announced free laptops for poor students and cycles for girls.

Releasing the poll manifesto in Lucknow, stalwarts Uma Bharti, Kalraj Mishra and Sudheendra Kulkarni said that the party will also set up a body to investigate all cases of graft against Chief Minister Mayawati.

On the other hand, the Congress released its 'Vision Document 2020' in Lucknow on Thursday. Senior leaders Salman Khurshid and UP Congress chief Rita Bahuguna Joshi identified the growth roadmap for the state with focus on employment and education. The party promsied a Rs 3000 crore package for weavers and 20 lakh jobs in the next 5 years.

The BJP also slammed the ruling Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) in Uttar Pradesh for misusing public fund for constructing memorials of only dalit leaders and said it would install statues of prominent personalities of all castes if voted to power in the coming state Assembly polls.

"BSP government erected memorials and mansions (of only dalit leaders by misutilising thousands of crore of public money and hundreds of acre of land," the party manifesto said.

It said the BSP followed the wrong culture of Congress in naming public properties and schemes after the name of Nehru-Gandhi family and glorification.

"BJP will install statues of icons of all caste and society like Sant Kabir, Sant Ravidas, Uda Devi, Bijli Pasi and Jhalkari Bai in all these parks and memorials as well," the manifesto said.

The party said government institutions and schemes cannot be private property of Congress, SP or BSP.

"Therefore the party would rename all the existing schemes in UP after icons of all caste and section and ensure proper respect to them," the manifesto stated.

The vision document of the Congress is an attempt to convince the electorate of its intention to bring about a change in the state, which had been ruled for more than two decades by BJP, SP and BSP, party sources said.

Through the document, Congress has also laid out out special development plans for regions like Bundelkhand in a bid to blunt Mayawati's attempt to woo voters through the proposal of creating four separate states out of UP.

(With additional information from PTI)

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