A brief summary of political parties’ promises made for 2014 assembly elections

Mumbai : It’s a set practice to publish elections manifestos to let the electorates know of the agenda with which the candidates have entered the fray. Fortunately, all the political parties who published their manifestos while going for the assembly elections in Maharashtra this year have used ‘development’ as their main plank to seek votes. Here is a look at the prominent pointes in manifestos of these parties.

Bharatiya Janata Party: Prime assurances is enactment of ‘Maharashtra Public Service Assurance Act’,  a legislation ensuring accountability of people’s representative. This was followed by a promise for creation of an IT industry development authority, single window clearance for industry, restructuring of taxes to bring down petrol-diesel rates.

Party also assured pension schemes for farmers, aged housewives and retired journalists. It also assures memorials of Shivaji Maharaj and Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar, empowerment of Marathi schools, increasing subsidy for drip irrigation and starting evening courts for speedy justice among a host of other things under 17 different heads.

The manifesto extended support for Maratha reservation, while also supporting quota for the Dhangars, and without affecting the current quota of tribal communities.

Reaching out to Muslims, the BJP said that land belonging to the Wakf Board would be recovered from unlawful intruders and returned to the board.

Taking cue from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Make in India’ project, the BJP promised an initiative called ‘Made in Maharashtra’ to boost the manufacturing sector.

The party said it would develop two SEZs for the benefit of the cotton textile industry in Marathwada and Vidarbha. The farmers were assured of a pension scheme.

Besides, the manifesto promised 10 smart cities in the state and detailed plans for economic and commercial hubs in Mumbai.

Nationalist Congress Party:  Nationalist Congress Party manifesto has promised to increase the income limit for Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Scheme beneficiaries to Rs. 3 lakh. It has also promised free laptops to students from the “non-creamy layer” after they clear HSC exams.

The party has also promised a separate ministry for Other Backward Castes (OBCs), budget of Maulana Azad Minority Economic Development Corporation for Minorities would be raised to Rs. 2,000 crore, linking all prominent cities in the state through air connectivity and rolling out mono-rail services in Aurangabad, Nashik and Nagpur.

The party has promised connecting Mumbai, Nashik and Nagpur through “high-speed railway”, development of clusters of industrial units alongside, separate cluster for women entrepreneurs, property tax waiver for entrepreneurs, ‘Krishi Kavachkundal Insurance Scheme’, using non-conventional energy sources to increase electricity generation capacity and pension for farmers with small holdings, farmers cultivating dry farmland and farm labourers above 65 years of age.

Shiv Sena: Shiv Sena manifesto focusses on the overall development of the state and keeping Maharashtra united.

Sena promised to expedite infrastructure development in Mumbai through a slew of projects, including coastal road, freeing up of Mumbai Port Trust land, development of eastern coast and completion of the Navi Mumbai airport well within the stipulated time.

The manifesto said that free tablet computers will be provided to students in the rural and urban areas of Maharashtra. The tablets, powered with solar chargers, would be given to students of Std 8 to 10 as per the state syllabus, promised Sena.

Besides, Sena has assured that it would undertake beautification work for Mumbai and its beaches and develop Maharashtra as a business and agriculture hub.

The party also promised modern health facilities for the people of the state.

Indian National Congress: Congress promised increased income limit for beneficiaries of popular Rajiv Gandhi Jeevandayi Health Scheme from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 2.5 lakh, besides police stations for women as well as elimination of manual scavenging in the state.

It also promised earmarking five per cent of the annual budget under the special component plan for the welfare of nomadic tribes and denotified tribes, Permanent provision of Rs 500 crore for a “drought fund”, supplying the farmers with electricity for eight hours during day time and ten hours at night and launching a separate television channel ‘Krishi Darshan’ for them.

The party has also promised establishing mango and cashew nut boards as well as removing restrictions on marketing agriculture produce. it also promised fast track courts to implement the Prevention of Atrocities Act.

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