Muslim quota, upper caste commission promised in SP manifesto

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LUCKNOW: Seeking to woo Muslims as well as upper castes, Samajwadi Party on Wednesday promised quota in police and other government jobs for minority community, release of “innocent” youths jailed on terror charges and constitution of an upper caste commission in its manifesto brimming with sops.

Vowing to enact tough law against communal violence, the SP led by Mulayam Singh Yadav said it would ensure justice to 2002 Gujarat riot victims and implementation of recommendations of Srikrishna Commission.

Provisions for free education and healthcare will be made in the country if a non-Congress, non-BJP government of which SP is a part is formed at the Centre after the Lok Sabha polls, the party, which is in power in Uttar Pradesh, said.

“The party will constitute a commission on lines of women, minorities and others commissions for problems pertaining to Upper Caste. The party will also make amendment in Constitution for providing reservation to Muslims on basis of their population in government jobs and give them 15 per cent reservation in police and PAC,” Mulayam said while releasing the party’s 24-page manifesto.

“The party will include 17 backward castes in the SC category if voted to power,” he said.

The manifesto also promised to release “innocent” Muslim youths lodged in jail on terrorism charges.

He also promised to curb corruption and bring back black money from foreign banks.

Party National General Secretary Ramgopal Yadav said if SP is voted to power, it would make education free from primary to higher level.

“We will do this by increasing expenditure in education. Presently four per cent of the GDP is spent on education and we will increase it to seven per cent for making education free,” Ramgopal said.

For service class, SP manifesto promises increasing the retirement age to 65 years for government employees, judges of higher and lower courts and teachers and other employees of educational institutes.

Priority will be given to Agriculture sector, Mulayam said, adding his government would ensure that the “ignored” sector is given due weightage.

“Only a country, where agriculture is promoted can make progress. China’s economy became better than India due to agriculture sector,” he said.

Highlighting the steps to be taken in the health sector, the SP supremo said that mini AIIMs would be opened in rural areas and facilities like x-ray, MRI, CT-scan and pathological tests would be made “free for the poor”.

“The government will also provide free treatment for kidney, heart, liver, and other diseases including cancer”, he said.

Alleging that MNREGA, mid-day meal and nutrition schemes were mired in corruption, he said, “there are scams all over in implementation of this scheme. Somewhere there is small scam and in other place there is big sca…We will change the system”.

On Naxal problem, Ramgopal said “genuine demands should be accepted instead of using force against them”.

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