DEHRADUN: A day after BJP, ruling Congress in Uttarakhand came out with its manifesto on Sunday, promising to arrest and reverse the migration from the hills and jobs, as well employment allowances, to the youth.
Called as ‘Sankalp Patra’ (document of pledge), the major thrust area of the Congress’ manifesto was the migration, an emotive issue in the hills.
Hundreds of villages in the hill state have no youth left. All have migrated to plains in search of jobs, leaving elderly behind.
The Uttarakhand’s population has a big chunk of ex-servicemen. Taking that into account, the Congress has announced a string of sops for the retired defence personnel.
“In March itself, we will form a ministry to address issues related to ex-servicemen and retired para-military personnel,” chief minister Harish Rawat said during the release the manifesto.
To check the migration, the Congress promised to start a string of development programmes in the hills, which it claimed would encourage “reverse migration by 2022”.
While the 48-page document has thrust on youth, women, ex-servicemen and reverse migration, it also focuses on addressing the problems faced by minorities, SC/ST, traders. It also promises to provide better services in health, education, agriculture and tourism sector.
Congress state in-charge Ambika Soni released the manifesto in presence of AICC member Kumari Shelja, CM Rawat and state chief Kishore Upadhyay.
“In the first three years, we will check migration and encourage reverse migration by 2022. For this, we plan to create employment opportunities, better health, electricity and education facilities besides focusing on the agriculture sector in these regions,” Rawat said.
Rawat said that a number of points in the manifesto, under various heads like agriculture, health, education, have been included keeping in mind the issue of migration.
In a big move, the Congress also made a promise to provide a 15 per cent quota to SC/ST businessmen/contractors in the tenders for various government projects.
For youth, an assurance has been made to provide one job per household. The party has also committed an allowance of Rs 2,500 per month via ‘Berozgari Bhatta Card’ for 36 months to youth till they are employed.
The promise to set up a woman industrial park on a 200-acre land was termed as a major initiative by the party in direction of women empowerment.