From scrapping toll, to free laptops and tablets for students, and connecting Mumbai and Pune by Metro, these are just a few of the promises made by the Congress and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) in their respective poll manifestos, released on Thursday.
The manifestos are offering many freebies to woo voters. The Congress, which was earlier reluctant to decide on scrapping toll, has announced it will free Mumbai of toll tax, which motorists have to pay while entering or leaving the city. It also said management of roads and flyovers in the city will be handed over to the civic body.
While the NCP promised free laptops to students who clear Class 12, Congress has gone a step further by announcing free tablets to students who have passed Class 9.
The Shiv Sena had, last month, promised tablets with micro data cards to school students.
The NCP promised to push for 33% reservation for women in the Assembly and Parliament, and airstrips in all 35 districts of the state. It also announced that it would scrap the controversial local body tax and Octroi if it come to power.
The party promised a Metro rail between Mumbai and Pune, connecting the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport. It has also mooted independent authorities for developing of 20 cities on the lines of Mumbai and Pune.
Meanwhile, the Congress promised bigger homes to residents of BDD chawl in Dharavi. Admitting that the government led by it had failed to keep its promise of keeping Maharashtra free of power cuts, the Congress manifesto claimed the party will aim to make the state self-sufficient in power generation.
It, however, maintained silence on infrastructure and road transport projects in Mumbai.
The manifestos, however, have a few things in common. Both parties have promised statues of Dr BA Ambedkar, Chhatrapati Shivaji, Rajshri Shahu Maharaj and other historic personalities. They have opposed the creation of a separate Vidarbha, which the BJP has promised.
BJP’s national vice-president Vinay Sahasrabuddhe claimed that the Congress and NCP had fooled the voters with their earlier manifestos and they trying were do it again.
“The Congress and NCP have performed very badly in every sector. Their claims and assurances are hogwash. The voters will not fall for it this time,” he said.