As Congress released its manifesto for the Delhi Assembly elections on Sunday, the demand for Delhi's 'statehood' was conspicuously missing from the document which declares 'Aisi hogi hamari Dilli' (This is the way our Dilli will be). While the manifesto does have several promises on Lokpal, job creation, environment, electricity, education, healthcare, woman safety to name a few, Congress also has a promise that it will challenge the amended Citizenship Amendment (CAA) in the Supreme Court and will pass an anti-CAA resolution on coming to power. Congress faces incumbent AAP and BJP, which has not held the Delhi Assembly since 1998.
The manifesto promises 24-hour water supply, launching 'Paani Bachao, Paisa Kamao' scheme - providing cashback to families using less than 20,000 litres. On similar lines the party has promised 'Bijli Bachao, Paisa Kamao' offering a cashback Rs 3/ unit up to Rs 500 per customer based on some consumption conditions. Moreover, it also promised 100% water treatment - proposing a smaller sewage treatment plant on banks of Yamuna.
In a bid to tackle Delhi's incessant pollution problem, Congress promises to allocate 25% of the budget to improving transport with a 'Delhi electric vehicles initiative (Devi)' scheme. It also promises more DTC buses, faster work on Metro Phase IV and appoints students aged 12-16 to become 'Environment ambassadors'. It has also promised a 'Jal sanrakshan board' and to work in tandem with the other state government and Centre to tackle the stubble burning issue with the proposed ' Rice stubble to energy fund'.
The party plans to revive its 'Ladli scheme' and promises free education to all girls studying in government institutions from nursery to PhD. Furthermore, Congress also promises a gender sensitisation programme called ' Awaz uthao programme' along with 'Indira canteens' to offer subsidised food. The party also offers in-situ rehabilitation to the slum dwellers and regularisation of all unauthorised colonies along with Rs 35,000 crore spending over five years in uplifting them.
Promising to build ten super speciality hospitals in Delhi in the next five years, the party says it will add 5000 new maternity beds. Moreover, Congress wishes to relaunch its National Creche scheme with 140 centres around Delhi. In honour of the late former CM Sheila Dikshit, Congress promises a senior citizen pension of Rs 5000 per month.
Among other promises, Congress promises to fill linguistic vacancies in 100 days and making Delhi disability-friendly. It also promises lowering gift deed rates for land transfer among farmers to Rs 10000 and a 'Come and Play Scheme' to promote outdoor activities among children. Congress also promises a one-time subsidy to Ola/Uber drivers and a news Arts University in Delhi.
The much-awaited Delhi elections are scheduled on February 8 with the results to be declared on February 11. While the BJP and Congress have not announced their CM pick, the AAP has launched mega-campaign roping in poll strategist Prashant Kishor's I-PAC for Arvind Kejriwal's re-election bid. Meanwhile, Congress, which is reeling from a leadership vacuum since the demise of Sheila Dikshit is eyeing a comeback at the national capital.