The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi government, which took oath of office at Mumbai’s Shivaji Park on Thursday evening, has promised to enact a law to reserve 80 per cent of jobs in the private sector for “local/domicile” youths. It has also promised loan waivers for farmers.
Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Jayant Patil said the law regarding job reservation would be enacted very soon and would apply to new private sector investments in the state.
The Kamal Nath-led Congress government in Madhya Pradesh, the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led YSR Congress Party government in Andhra Pradesh, and some others have promised similar reservation.
While rules pertaining to reservation in jobs and giving preference to locals exist in Maharashtra at present, the alliance has proposed to strengthen them by enacting a law.
The Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress coalition released its common minimum programme (CMP) hours before Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray was sworn in as the chief minister of Maharashtra along with a six-member Council of Ministers.
Others who took oath of office were the NCP’s Jayant Patil and Chhagan Bhujbal, the Congress’ Balasaheb Thorat and Nitin Raut, and the Shiv Sena’s Eknath Shinde and Subhash Desai. The Congress’ Prithviraj Chavan is set to be the Speaker of
The CMP has envisaged setting up two coordination committees — One for coordination within the state Cabinet and the other for coordination among the alliance partners. Apart from the proposal to reserve an unprecedented 80 per cent jobs for local youths, the CMP has proposed setting up ‘one-rupee clinics’ across the state for “all pathological tests”. The Sena’s most discussed promise during the Assembly poll campaign — a full meal at Rs 10 — also figures in the document.
The CMP has also promised filling all vacant posts in the state government, tenements measuring 500 sq. ft carpet area free of cost to eligible slum dwellers under the slum rehabilitation programme instead of current 300 sq. ft tenements, and interest-free study loans to children of farm labourers and economically weaker sections.
Several Metro projects in Mumbai, undertaken by the previous BJP-led government, have been lagging behind, said Patil. “We will try to expedite the completion of those projects," he said. Other promises include massive investments in construction of rural roads, a revision of
crop insurance, and constructing infrastructure for sustainable water supply to drought-affected areas.
The CMP, agreed and signed by Thackeray, NCP’s Pawar, and Congress’ Thorat, begins with a commitment to uphold secular values enshrined in the Constitution, something that the Congress party had insisted upon.
“On contentious issues of national importance as well as of state importance, especially having repercussions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, NCP, and Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus,” the programme said. In their respective congratulatory messages to Thackeray, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party leader Rahul Gandhi regretted their inability to attend the oath ceremony, but underlined that the alliance government had come about in extraordinary circumstances. Sonia Gandhi said the political atmosphere in the country had become poisonous.
Addressing the Congress parliamentary party meeting in the morning in the national capital, Sonia Gandhi criticised the conduct of Maharashtra Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari and, in an indication of the political battle ahead, said “the Modi-Shah government” is “bankrupt” of decency and clueless on how to manage the grave problems facing the country, including the “economic crisis”.