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Promises galore

The Congress on Friday released a sop-full manifesto for the upcoming elections in the state, aiming to woo the voters to its side.The main promises include unemployment allowance, interest-free loan for higher studies, no fee from the unemployed applying for government jobs and a separate ministry for minorities. Anupam Trivedi reports.

india Updated: Jan 14, 2012 15:15 IST
Anupam Trivedi
Congress-leaders-releasing-party-manifesto-in-the-state-capital-on-Friday-Rishi-Ballabh-HT
Congress-leaders-releasing-party-manifesto-in-the-state-capital-on-Friday-Rishi-Ballabh-HT

The Congress on Friday released a sop-full manifesto for the upcoming elections in the state, aiming to woo the voters to its side.

The main promises include unemployment allowance, interest-free loan for higher studies, no fee from the unemployed applying for government jobs and a separate ministry for minorities.

Besides, the party also promised a mandi board for farmers and a policy that would end contract labour in state.

The party, on the lines of Assam and Haryana, promised unemployment allowance between Rs 750-1500 for youth registered at the employment exchange. Those having professional degrees, science graduates and women would get an additional 50% allowance.

Releasing the manifesto here, Congress in charge in Uttarakhand Birendra Singh said the party would provide interest-free loan for higher studies to youth whose family earns less than Rs 4 lakh.

In 2002, too, the Congress focused on the youth in its manifesto for the assembly polls in that year. It then claimed to provide one lakh jobs to youths, a promise that, indeed, became debatable.

The party also slammed the alleged 'scams' of the BJP government but skipped mentioning a lokayukta in its manifesto. The Congress in charge claimed that his party would ensure transparency in government functioning. "Gazetted officers, ministers and MLAs would have to furnish details of their assets on a yearly basis," he said.

Singh said after assuming office the Congress government would probe scams of the present government.

Aiming for the minority votes that are the deciding factor in at least two dozen assembly segments, the Congress promised a separate ministry for minorities and a Urdu and Farsi Board.

On the agriculture front, the party assured to boost farming through organic cultivation by means of certification of organic produce. Moreover, a seed-processing zone would be developed in the agricultural belt of Terai.

Touching on its favourite buzzword 'development,' the party assured completing of the lingering hydro-power projects in three years after coming to power. It also laid stress on the tourism industry. Apart from developing the airways sector, the Dehradun domestic airport would be upgraded into an international one, the manifesto said. Furthermore, ropeways would be constructed on the environmentally fragile Kailash Mansarovar route.