Farmers, jobs, ‘Priyanka Gandhi effect’ – how SP and BJP’s UP manifestos compare

Lucknow: Ahead of 2022 ‘high stakes’ Assembly elections in Uttar Pradesh, the BJP and Samajwadi party are in tough competition, both reaching out to farmers and women in published election manifestos the same day, Tuesday.

While the BJP promised free electricity for irrigation to farmers (also part of the SP manifesto) and a price stability fund to decide the “minimum price” of crops such as potato, tomato and onion, the SP promised to calculate the minimum support price (MSP) for all crops in accordance with the provisions of the Swaminathan committee formula of 2004 (production cost + 50 percent), farmers markets, and a Debt Relief Act which will also include provisions kisan aayog or the Farmers’ Board.

The “Priyanka effect” – Congress leader Priyanka Gandhi had earlier announced a women-centered campaign for the party – is also visible in BJP and SP manifestos.

While the SP promised women 33% reservation in government jobs, the BJP promised women aged over 60 free travel on public transport, as well as scooters for young women (also announced by Priyanka Gandhi in a tweet last October).

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The Agitation Effect of Farmers

The impact of the year-long protest by farmers against the three controversial, now repealed Farm Bills introduced by the Modi government is clear on manifestos from both sides.

While many agricultural leaders in western UP have already announcement support for the SP-RLD alliance in the region, the BJP and the SP are always doing their best to woo the farming community in the state.

The issue of MSP – one of the demands of the agitated farmers was a legal guarantee for MSP – was mentioned in both manifestos. The two parties also announced free electricity for irrigation of farmers, as well as the payment of dues to sugar cane producers within fifteen days. The BJP also announced the payment of interest to sugar cane growers, in case they are not paid within 14 days.

The BJP has also pledged three new programs for farmers, including a Rs 5,000 crore CM Krishi Sinchayi Yojana to provide assistance to small and marginal farmers for the construction of boreholes, tube wells, ponds and reservoirs for water. irrigation, Rs 25,000 crore Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel agro-infrastructure mission for construction of pruning and grading units, cold chain chambers, godowns and processing centers, and Rs 1,000 crore Bhamashah Bhav Sthirta Kosh (price stability fund) to guarantee a minimum price of crops, including tomato, potato and onion.

Hours after the BJP released its manifesto, the PS announced the calculation of MSP for all crops in accordance with Swaminathan’s formula, along with other aids to farmers, such as the provision of two bags of fertilizer diammonium phosphate and five bags of urea to all farmers with less than two acres of land, and a “kisan bazaar (farmers market)” every 10 kilometers where “farmers can sell their products directly to consumers”. The party also promised to free all farmers from their debts by 2025.

“Family relatives who lost their lives during the kisan andolan will receive Rs 25 lakh (in compensation) and a kisan smarak (memorial) will be established in their memory,” SP National Chairman Akhilesh Yadav said when releasing the manifesto.

Courting female voters

Congress, which won just seven seats in the 2017 election and has just three MPs left after a series of defections, announced last year that the party would award 40% tickets to women candidates out of the 403 seats in the the UP Assembly.

Last year, party leader Priyanka Gandhi also promised free electric scooters to all female graduates and a smartphone for each girl who passed class 12.

The BJP in its manifesto also announced free scooters for “deserving (female) female students” under the existing Rani Lakshmibai Yojana, as well as free trips for women aged over 60 on public transport, Rs 1 000 crore for public toilets for women, raising finance aid to Rs 25,000 from Rs 15,000 for girls in families with an income of Rs 3 lakh or less, and 3,000 “pink” police booths (for women and with female staff).

The SP, meanwhile, has promised 33% reservations for women in all government jobs, including in the UP police.

“The possibility of hosting FIRs via email and WhatsApp under the 1090 program will be granted, as well as the monitoring of crimes under the 1090 application,” said Akhilesh Yadav. The party manifesto also mentions “Mahila ration cards for all BPL families within a year and restart of the Samajwadi Pension Yojana to grant aid of Rs 18,000 to women in BPL families.

Education and unemployment

As the opposition targeted it for unemployment in the state, the BJP attempted to reach the state’s unemployed youth, promising employment or self-employment opportunities to every family and free coaching to those who wish to appear for UPSC, UPPSC, NDA, CDS, JEE, NIIT, TET, CLAT and other competitive examinations.

Announcing an Industrial Training Institute (ITI) in each UP bloc, Union Home Minister Amit Shah, who released the BJP manifesto, called it an important promise.

“We will ensure that every division has a university,” he said, while announcing the opening of educational institutions across the state as part of the party’s manifesto in UP – Maa Shakhumbhari University Devi in ​​Saharanpur, Ayush Teaching Center in Ayodhya, Maharaja Suheldev University in Azamgarh, Guru Gorakhnath Ayush University in Gorakhpur and four other universities.

The two parties have also targeted each other by publishing manifestos for the elections. While Shah claimed that 92% of the promises of the 2017 BJP manifesto had been fulfilled, Yadav mocked the BJP”Patra of Sankalp (manifest) as “galp-patra (letter of imagination or stories)”.

(Editing by Poulomi Banerjee)

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