AAP unveils manifesto, promises statehood for Delhi

Manifesto

 Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) President and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal along with party leaders Manish Sisodia, Sanjay Singh, Gopal Rai and others release AAP's election manifesto for the forthcoming Lok Sabha polls in New Delhi. PTI photo

With an attack on Congress president Rahul Gandhi for the failure to clinch an alliance in the capital, AAP on Thursday unveiled its manifesto putting full statehood as its central theme, while promising 85% reservation in colleges and jobs for the people of the national capital.

The 36-page manifesto focused on 12 areas of education, health, women safety, police reforms, zero corruption, jobs, land and housing, protection from sealing, cleanliness, pollution, transport and Yamuna rejuvenation, and provided an overview of what the AAP achieved without having full statehood and what it is promising if Delhi gets full powers.

One of the promises was that students of Delhi schools securing more than 60% marks in Class 12 would get guaranteed admission in a college as a regular student. It also promised an 85% quota for Delhiites in every college.

"We will secure 85% of the seats of Delhi colleges for residents of the city. 65% jobs of the region similarly will be secured for locals," Kejriwal said.

Rejecting the argument that Delhi cannot be granted full statehood as New Delhi is the national capital, the AAP manifesto compared Delhi to other capitals like London, Berlin, Moscow, Mexico City, Ottawa and Washington City. 

According to the document, except Delhi, all these cities have control over local police, appointment and transfer of officials, land and city planning, housing, traffic, transport planning and local bodies.

It accused the BJP and the Congress of avoiding the question of full statehood for Delhi. Both the parties' reason, the manifesto said, was that they do not have their government in Delhi. "Even today, the stance of the BJP and the Congress has not been favourable towards granting full statehood to Delhi," the manifesto said.

On questions about a coalition, Kejriwal led the charge against the Congress for the failure to clinch an alliance with AAP in Delhi, saying Rahul will be responsible if Narendra Modi returns to power.

"They don't have an intention to forge an alliance. For the past two months, we have been trying for an alliance. I am saying this with huge sadness that if Modi and (BJP President Amit) Shah return to power, only one person will be responsible, that is Rahul Gandhi," he said.

"The way he is weakening the opposition in West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Goa, Chandigarh and Haryana, this is not a good thing," he said.

Congress Delhi in-charge P C Chacko rejected the charges immediately, saying he "suspected the intentions" of Kejriwal. Chacko said AAP was actually not keen on the alliance.

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