Congress manifesto vows ‘job guarantee’ for youths


ITANAGAR, Apr 2: The Congress party in Arunachal Pradesh on Tuesday released its poll manifesto for the ensuing simultaneous elections to the 18th Lok Sabha and 11th Legislative Assembly of the State, giving “job guarantee” to youths besides pledging to do away with the New Pension Scheme and restore the Old Pension Scheme.

While unveiling the manifesto, Arunachal Pradesh Congress Committee president and the contesting candidate from Arunachal West Parliamentary seat Nabam Tuki said the document was drafted taking into consideration of the feedback, grievances and opinions of diverse stratum of society including CBO,s civil society, workers’ unions etc.

Arunachal Pradesh is going to simultaneously vote for 50 out of 60 Assembly seats (as 10 BJP candidates already won the election unopposed) and two Lok Sabha seats on April 19.

Releasing the party manifesto along with former MP and party’s election campaign committee chairman Takam Sanjoy and other senior leaders at the party headquarters here, Tuki stated that “the Congress stands for aspirations of every section of society irrespective of caste, creed, religion, language or ethnicity. It believes in “giving power to people”.

“This manifesto of INC is not merely a document of proposal and vision for a better Arunachal, rather a contractual agreement of INC with the people of Arunachal Pradesh for implementation with full responsibility and accountability, if elected to power,” said Tuki, who is pitted against BJP’s Kiren Rijiju for the Arunachal West seat.

The manifesto promises, among others, job guarantee to youths, upgradation of all Govt primary and middle schools to residential schools, doubling of students’ stipends, setting up of super-specialty hospital in every district HQs, immediate scrapping of National Pensions Scheme and restoration of Old Pension Scheme, etc.

It also vows to regularize services of contractual and contingency employees, job reservation in Home department for NCC certificate holders, job guarantee for youths after obtaining skill development training professionally in different trades, provide financial assistance of Rs 50,000 to women hawkers, etc.

The Congress manifesto pledges “Paper Leak Se Mukti” – to bring new laws to curb paper leak in competitive examinations and ensure highest standards of fairness in the examination process, and assured minimum support price for agriculture and allied products, and implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006.

When asked about the unopposed election of 10 candidates of ruling BJP, the former Chief Minister said, “It’s not a surprise, not a new thing. This practice has happened in Arunachal Pradesh in the past also and is continuing.

In the 2014 election, the Congress has won 11 out of 60 seats unopposed – one seat more than this time.” Without giving a direct reply to journalists’ query on whether money played a role in unopposed election, Tuki said, “That you know better. It’s known to everybody; no need to mention it.”

Tuki said he is fully optimistic that the opposition INDIA bloc will bounce back to power at the Centre.

“In 2024, INDIA bloc will form the next government at the Centre, and then the INDIA Alliance will form a new government in Arunachal Pradesh with the help of like-minded political parties,” he said on a confident note. He also stated that in politics, there is no permanent enemy.

Notably, the Congress has fielded only 19 candidates in the Assembly polls though the grand old party is contesting both the Lok Sabha seats in the State. Party’s working president and former minister Bosiram Siram is contesting for the Arunachal East seat.

To another question, the veteran politician said, “We play elections to win, not for getting defeated. Here’s no second prize, third prize. Jo jitega wohi sikandar hai. I will win this election because people love me; recognize my contributions to the state over the period of the last 30 years.”  

Alleging that the BJP-led Government at the Centre has been misusing the federal probe agencies ED and CBI, targeting the opposition leaders, the State Congress president quizzed, “Is the Government like this?”

“Government is for the welfare of the people, Government is to keep people secure, and their duty is to protect the rights of citizens. But instead of doing that, they are taking away all their rights and duties, and they are putting everybody in the chest, making them distressed,” alleged Tuki in an obvious reference of Delhi CM and AAP supremo Arvind Kejriwal, who was arrested by ED in an excise policy-linked money laundering case.