College students could soon own expensive gadgets if they vote for the political parties determined to woo them.
After Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray announced tablets for students from Class 8 to 10 if his party was elected to power, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) has followed suit and proposed laptops to all the students passing out of junior college.
The party has finalised its manifesto for the assembly elections. The manifesto, which is expected to be released next week, has the schemes and proposals for almost all sections of society. To woo the students, NCP has proposed free laptops to students passing out from Class 12, if the NCP was chosen to the power.
The party also proposed to pursue the issue of 33% reservation to the women in the state Assembly and the Parliament.
The manifesto stated the issue would be followed up rigorously with the Central government to ensure that the bill, which has been pending in Parliament for years because of resistance from some of the parties, was passed. The NCP emphasised on the fact that it has played an important role in giving 50% reservation to women in the civic body elections in the state.
The manifesto also elaborated on the achievements of the state government, especially by departments controlled by the NCP such as the decision to ban gutka and tobacco products.
Party chief Sharad Pawar already announced — in party’s Kolhapur rally last week — that farmers and farm labourers will be paid a monthly pension of Rs1,000 after the age of 65. Athletes who have been conferred the Arjun and ShivChhatrapati awards will be given a scholarship after the age of 55.
Sudhir Bhongale, editor of the party’s magazine Rashtrawadi, and member of the manifesto committee, said the document will be comprehensive. The party is expected to release the manifesto independently, even if it decides to continue its alliance with the Congress. The parties had released their manifesto jointly before the 2009 assembly elections.