AAP manifesto promises full statehood for Delhi, more jobs (Roundup)

New Delhi, Jan 31 (IANS) The AAP Saturday released its manifesto for the Delhi assembly elections, promising full statehood for Delhi, increased focus on women’s safety, making the city a trade and service hub to generate more jobs, and slashing the power tariffs and VAT rates.

The manifesto promised to set up 20 new colleges, provide clean drinking water at affordable prices and a free Wi-Fi zone, among others.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) however dismissed the manifesto, saying it was wishful to make new promises when the Aam Aadmi Party had never managed to fulfil those made for the 2013 polls.
AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who released the manifesto, said it was a sacred document for his party akin to the “Gita, Bible, Quran, and Guru Granth Sahib”.
Laying out a road map for creating more employment, the former chief minister said: “We wish to make Delhi a trade, tourist, education and service hub. This will help in generating more employment in the city.”
This besides, passing Jan Lokpal and Swaraj bills would be a priority of the AAP government, he said. It was over the failure to introduce anti-graft bill in the assembly, that Kejriwal quit as the chief minister Feb 14, 2014.
Kejriwal said that his party would especially focus on safety of women in the capital.
“We want every woman to feel safe and secure. Over 10 lakh CCTV cameras will be installed across the capital. A security guard will be deployed in every government bus,” Kejriwal said.
He also said that government auditor, Comptroller and Auditor General of India will audit the books of power companies.”
“Our party has no interest with the power companies unlike other parties. We will restart the auditing of these power companies and the rates will be decided accordingly,” he said.
Power tariff will be reduced by 50 percent, he added.
Kejriwal said the manifesto containing 70-point action plan would be implemented after coming to power as they had done in the earlier rule of 49 days.
He also said VAT (value added tax) will be reduced.
Taking a dig at the BJP for not coming out with a manifesto, Kejriwal said it was shying away from making any promises as they had not fulfilled any of the promises they made at the time of the 2014 Lok Sabha election.
The BJP has announced that it would abstain from releasing a manifesto for the Delhi polls and would instead come up with a “vision document”.
Kejriwal contended that the BJP’s claim that people of Delhi do not want full statehood was wrong.
On former IPS officer Kiran Bedi being projected as the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate, Kejriwal said: “Though she (Bedi) won’t win…If she wins, she will be reduced to puppet chief minister.”
With regard to the Congress, Kejriwal said in its rule of 15 years, the party released three manifestos in which they had made tall claims, but sadly most of their promises were not realised.
BJP leader Nirmala Sitharaman, however, making light of the “non-suggestive” AAP manifesto said: “It is worth noticing that AAP has a new 70 point manifesto when they could not fulfil their last manifesto.”
“Point 38 in AAP manifesto on free wifi is nothing new, the NDMC (New Delhi Municipal Council) is already working on it,” she said.
“In their 49 days of rule, the people who consumed less than 200 units of electricity were also charged bill on higher rates,” she said adding “AAP has spoken of reducing VAT in manifesto, whereas from April 1, GST (Goods and Service Tax) will take over… maybe they will blame the centre later.”
Delhi goes to the poll Feb 7 and ballots will be counted Feb 10.