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SP vows caste census, MSP guarantee, scrapping Agnipath in poll manifesto

Lucknow: Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday unveiled the party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, promising a caste-based census by 2025, a legal guarantee for MSP, and scrapping of the Agnipath scheme.

The manifesto — ‘Janta Ka Maang Patra – Humara Adhikar’ — was released at the SP headquarters here in the presence of senior party leaders.

The 20-page document has called for a PDA government this time. PDA is an acronym for Pichde (backward classes), Dalit and Alpasankhyak (minorities) that was coined by Yadav.

MS Education Academy

The SP is a constituent of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc.

Addressing a press conference here, Yadav said a caste-wise census would be conducted after the formation of the INDIA bloc government at the Centre to fill all the vacant government posts of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes by 2025.

He said the Agnipath military recruitment scheme would be scrapped and regular recruitment in the armed forces would be introduced.

The party also promised to restore the old pension scheme, ensure the participation of all sections of society in the private sector and completely eliminate poverty by 2029.

The manifesto includes giving a legal guarantee of minimum support price to the farmers, waiving off agricultural loans of farmers, providing free irrigation facilities, and formation of a Farmers’ Commission. A promise has been made to provide a pension of Rs 5,000 per month to all landless small and marginal farmers.

Adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards crimes against women, along with a nationwide helpline, ensuring 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and Assemblies within two years of coming to power without waiting for delimitation, reserving 33 per cent government jobs for women were promised in the manifesto.

The SP said flour instead of wheat would be provided to the people as part of a free ration and mobile data worth Rs 500 would be given for free to every ration card-holding family.

The right to free education, an increase in the budget for education from three per cent to six per cent of the GDP, a legal guarantee on the right to quality health for all and elimination of the digital divide would be ensured, the SP said.

The other promises made in the manifesto are to stop privatisation and retrenchment of central and state public sector units and to set up smart village clusters across the country to be operated through the Smart Village Cluster Development Authority.

The SP is contesting 62 out of 80 Lok Sabha seats in Uttar Pradesh as part of the alliance, while the Congress is contesting 17 seats. The Bhadohi Lok Sabha seat has been given to Trinamool Congress.

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