Sharad Pawar-led NCP on Monday promised reservations to Muslims as well as Marathas, implementation of Rajinder Sachar committee report, and support for ‘statehood to Andaman and Nicobar’ in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, released here.
It also advocated privatisation of agriculture; privatisation and price protection to farmers would be government’s strategy “to synergies agriculture growth”, the manifesto said. Private sector’s participation would be promoted through contract-farming, it added.
The party, which is in alliance with Congress in Maharashtra and is a part of the UPA, has presence in (apart from Maharashtra) Meghalaya, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Nagaland, Gujarat, Odisha and Kerala, manifesto pointed out.
It promised support to statehood to Andaman and Nicobar Islands, full state status to Delhi, and “zero tolerance” approach to terrorism.
The 44-page manifesto also said that NCP did not support introduction of uniform civil code. It was for continuance of personal codes so long as they did not violate the Constitution, it said.
It promised representation to minority communities in public sector, government and semi-government establishments.
It would work for passage of Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill, 2013, the manifesto said. Further, it promised that NCP would ensure implementation of Sachar committee’s recommendations including job reservations for Muslims without delay.
Reservations would be provided to weaker sections such as the Muslims and Marathas in education and jobs, it said.
Marathas, who are politically dominant in Maharashtra, form a backbone of NCP’s base in the state.
The manifesto said NCP wanted job reservations for scheduled castes and scheduled tribes in the private sector too, and was in favour of quotas for OBCs in the higher education as well.
The capabilities of senior citizens should be used as “a social asset” in promoting adult education, immunisation, AIDS awareness, etc, it said.
Tourism infrastructure would be strengthened through public-private partnership, it said. The manifesto also highlighted the achievements of UPA I and UPA II, and the performance of NCP ministers.
The party was committed to secularism, equity and social justice, it said.
It mentioned UPA’s flagship achievements such as introduction of MGNREGA, Right to Food Act, RTI Act, etc.
It promised to boost budgetary provisions for agriculture and irrigation, boost production of oil seeds and pulses, and increase remunerative prices of crops.
It also promised an insurance policy to cover the entire agriculture sector and debt waiver to landless labourers, SC/ST.
On state-Centre relations, it underlined that NCP would strive to provide genuine financial autonomy to states and restrict use of article 356 only to cases where there is a threat to the national security or the secular fabric of the country.