UP 'unemployed' sniff change of guard in state

Youths throng job exchange as parties promise allowances

Poll analysts may be hesitating to make any prediction about the outcome of the Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections and prefer to wait till the results are declared on March 6, but ‘unemployed’ people in the state have already sniffed a change of guard.

At least the long queues of unemployed youths at employment exchanges across UP for getting their names registered to enable them to avail ‘unemployment allowance’ seem to suggest that.

Two major stakeholders in the ongoing UP Assembly elections — Samajwadi Party and BJP — have declared in their poll promises that they will give unemployment allowance to youths if they form the next government in the state.

Rs 1,000 or Rs 2,000?

The SP said it will pay allowance of Rs 1,000 to unemployed youths while BJP has pledged to give Rs 2,000 as unemployment allowance.

According to sources in the state labour department, the number of unemployed youths getting themselves registered at employment exchanges has risen sharply in the last few days.

Over 5,000 unemployed youths got themselves registered at different employment exchanges in the state in the last one week alone, a source said.

The numbers have risen from an average 50 per day to 500 at some places. Crowds of unemployed youths at employment exchanges prompted officials to make additional security arrangements at some places.

Scheme scrapped in 2007

The Mulayam Singh Yadav regime had in its earlier stint provided Rs 500 as allowance to unemployed youths. The Mayawati regime, after assuming power in 2007, scrapped the scheme.

Mayawati has dubbed the allowance as  “alms”. Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi has also been critical of the scheme, saying instead of allowance, attempt should be made to give them employment by setting up industries.

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