Business Standard

Himachal polls: BJP manifesto is about 'mafia raj', jobs, free pilgrimage

The strong focus on measures to better the law and order situation comes in the backdrop of widespread protests over the Kotkhai rape and murder case and other incidents

Press Trust of India  |  Shimla 

Himachal Pradesh polls
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in Himachal Pradesh for the launch of the BJP's vision document. Photo: Twitter (@ANI)

Dismantling "mafia raj", women's safety, free 'chardham' pilgrimage for the elderly and jobs for youth are among the key focus areas in the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP's) "Vision Document" for the Himachal Pradesh polls which was released by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley here on Sunday.

The document promised a 24-hour helpline in the chief minister's office for reporting all types of crimes, setting up of Somnath Vahini, a task force of ex-servicemen to take on drug mafia and crime.

The strong focus on measures to better the law and order situation comes in the backdrop of widespread protests over the Kotkhai rape and murder case and other incidents.

"The BJP government would have to do ten years' work in five years as the present Congress government did not take up any developmental work while re-establishing the credibility of the government would be challenge," Jaitley said while releasing the manifesto.

He was flanked by Union ministers J P Nadda and Thawar Chand Gehlot, former chief ministers Shanta Kumar and Prem Kumar Dhumal, state BJP chief Satpal Singh Satti and other senior leaders.

The vision document stressed on eradication of corruption while also claiming that the activities of land, forest, drug, mining, and building mafia would be curbed while transparency would be ushered in public life.

To ensure transparency, BJP MLAs would publicly declare all their assets, it said.

Safe drinking water to every house, road connectivity to all villages, emergency medical services in rural and remote areas, doubling the income of farmers by 2022, raising of compensation for land acquired by the government for developmental projects, social security pension and free "Chardham Yatra" for senior citizens are other salient features of the document.

The document promises abolition of interviews for Class-III and Class-IV jobs, laptops and free WiFi, job fairs to facilitate unemployed youth, free education to BPL families up to graduation, new tourist destinations for employment generation and the promotion of homestay tourism.

The document, released in place of a poll manifesto, virtually castigated the present government over alleged corruption, mafia activities and the law and order situation.

Jaitley claimed that the Congress government and Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh remained engaged in "self survival" and due to the power struggle within Congress, the government had no time to fulfil the mandate given by the people.

Denying the allegation levelled by Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh that cases against him (Singh) were instituted at his behest, Jaitley said that "all the cases were instituted on the basis of the documents that surfaced in 2012 when the UPA government was in power".

It does not matter who made the charges but as a chief minister, he cannot run away from replying to the serious charges of corruption, Jaitley added.

First Published: Mon, October 30 2017. 09:39 IST