Cong too promises cheap power

Party offers subsidies to woo back its vote bank, follows AAP line

The Congress on Friday took the lead among all political parties in releasing its manifesto for the upcoming Delhi polls. 

The highlights include electricity for domestic users at Rs 1.5 per unit up to 200 units, a promised reduction of over 60 per cent, and waiver of “inflated” water bills.

The party decided to release its manifesto in two instalments. The second part will be released a couple of days later and will focus in greater detail on the slums and unauthorised colonies, apart from other issues.

The party manifesto also promises a discount of 50 per cent for domestic users who consume over 200 units of electricity. 

It would be done by “reining in private companies”, said the manifesto.The “inflated” water bills, which the party said were basically sewer connection charges, would be waived if Congress came to power. 

“Sewer connections will be provided for free. We will also review the 10 per cent annual increase in water charges,” said Arvinder Singh Lovely, Delhi Pradesh Congress Committee chief.

“Students and senior citizens would be provided concessions in Metro travel, similar to the facility provided by the Delhi Transport Corporation,” said Lovely.

On the educational front, 150 new schools, 20 colleges and extension of EWS quotas for higher education for girl students have been promised by the Congress. Libraries with internet café in every constituency are also on the party’s radar, its leaders announced.

The party also has plans to regularise all those contractual employees who have served for four years. 

They plan to raise the salaries of Anganwadi workers to Rs 6,000 for those in the Rs 4,000 slab, and to Rs 4,000 for those currently receiving Rs 2,500. The below poverty line families would be provided one kilo rice and seven kilo wheat every month for free. 
Regularisation

“The Congress will regularise all those unauthorised colonies that were left out the last time. In jhuggi jhopdi colonies, ownership rights to the land would be provided to the residents “free of cost or at a concessional rate”, said Lovely.

Lovely said all the Delhi government hospitals would be equipped with 24-hour diagnostic centres so that patients do not have to run from pillar to post for necessary medical tests. 

The manifesto also talks of special ambulances for senior citizens. Lovely made no mention of Congress’ stand on demands for full statehood to Delhi until he was asked by the mediapersons. 

“The party would renew its demand for full statehood for Delhi for effective governance without any shackle,” he said. Party leader Ajay Maken said only “doable” promises were being made by the Congress. 

“Over the last one year, you have seen the BJP and AAP make false promises. They promised things that do not even fall under the Delhi government’s jurisdiction,” said Maken.

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