From maintaining the dignity of the dead to free smartphones, the election manifesto of Uttar Pradesh chief minister AkhileshYadav is likely to ride solo in the 2017 state assembly election.
Team Akhilesh has started finalising its manifesto — be it for the Samajwadi Party or a new outfit — including the suggestions of the chief minister.
“Start coming up with ideas for poll manifesto in a week’s time,” Akhilesh had told party legislators at his residence on December 23.
“His manifesto will be sensational, development oriented and humane. It will be modern as well as traditional,” said an MLA.
Akhilesh has already announced free Samajwadi smartphones to voters, the registration for which has crossed the one-crore mark. He will also continue with the laptop distribution scheme.
The Samajwadi Party manifesto in 2012 was not his, but had his stamp all over. The promises included free laptops and tablets to students and unemployment allowance to youth.
However, this time there are slim chances of his getting a free hand in adding his suggestions to the party manifesto because he is neither the state president nor has any constitutional post in the national body. This is why he is preparing the manifesto on his own. “Ours will not be a populist manifesto. Despite being ambitious, people will have trust that Akhilesh will fulfil it as he has already fulfilled all the promises made ahead of the 2012 assembly election,” said a member of the CM’s team.
It is almost certain that maintaining the dignity of the dead will be a part of his manifesto. Last year, governments saw public outrage after a poor man from Odisha carried his dead wife’s body on his shoulder for 10 kilomertres because a hospital refused to provide an ambulance. More such incidents were reported in other states.
Akhilesh had also announced Samajwadi canteens to provide subsidised, nutritious and hygienic food to labourers at construction sites. However, the scheme did not take off. The project is set to become a part of the manifesto now.