With the first phase of 2019 Lok Sabha Elections just 17 days away, the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) on Monday released its manifesto, promising to initiate talks with Pakistan over terrorism. Keeping in mind the prevailing circumstances in the country, NCP General Secretary DP Tripathi vowed to open talks with the neighbouring country if voted to power in upcoming General Elections 2019.
Releasing the election manifesto at the party office in New Delhi, Tripathi further said the party's endeavour will be to bring radicalised youth of Kashmir Valley into the mainstream and take stern action against those involved in 'brainwashing' them.
Speaking about the farm loan waiver in Maharashtra, the NCP leader said, "According to figures from various organisations working in rural areas, over 90,000 people have committed suicide in the hinterland, of which majority are farmers. We will provide a complete loan waiver to the small and medium income farmers".
Resumption of talks, especially on terrorism, with Pakistan, was essential for the betterment of ties between the two countries, he added.
Other important factors covered in the manifesto include agriculture, economic growth, job creation, focus on MSMEs, labour reform, tax reform, Human Resource development, Digital India, defence, national security, MGNREGA, housing, income inequality, rebooting public-private partnership among others.
Here is NCP's election manifesto at a glance:
- Targetting the BJP govt in his manifesto, the NCP said - Drop in gross value added basic prices from the agricultural forestry and fishing sector in 2018-19, the worst in 14 years, adding that they will achieve the fiscal deficit target of 3 per cent of GDP.
- One crore 80 lakh job loss: Demonetisation has drastically slowed down economic growth and impacted GDP significantly. The unemployment rate in India rose to 7.2% in February 2019 from 5.9% in February 2018 as shown by the recent data by the centre for monitoring Indian economy. If voted to power, the NCP has promised to bring out a white paper on job.
- Focus on MICRO, small and Medium enterprises: Digital lending platform will be used for the lending purpose as it will drive down the cost of funds, more specialised small finance banks will be licenced.
- Labour reforms: We are committed to "equal work, equal pay" to all employees to ensure gender equality.
- Triple Talaq - NCP will initiate a process to arrive at a consensus on issues related to personal law, including Triple Talaq, by facilitating interaction between schools of thought in the community including religious heads, reformist, and other sections of the community.
Apart from Delhi, the party has also released its manifesto in Mumbai, under the tagline - "Aap Mikle Desh Banaye, Hamara Aapka Sabka Bharat".
When asked how will the party implement its manifesto when it is contesting in not more than 30 seats in the 545-member Lok Sabha, Tripathi exuded confidence that the party will be a part of the next non-BJP government and influence policy-making.
The Sharad Pawar-led party is contesting on 20 seats in Maharashtra, one each in Lakshadweep, Bihar, Odisha, Meghalaya and Manipur.
In Maharashtra, voting will be held in four phases right from the starting of elections on April 11. The dates of polling in Maharashtra are April 11, 18, 23 and 29. The counting of votes for all the phases will be taken up on May 23, 2019.