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Delhi civic polls: Congress manifesto focuses on urban poor

IANS | New Delhi |

The Delhi Congress on Monday released the first of its three-part election manifesto for the upcoming civic polls, announcing a slew of measures for the upliftment of the urban poor, including setting up of a Department of Urban Poverty Alleviation.

"The party would also introduce health and accident insurance for daily-wage labourers in Delhi if it comes to power in the civic polls," Delhi Congress Chief Ajay Maken told reporters here.

Maken said it was only the first phase of the party's election manifesto and that it would announce the rest of its "plans and roadmap" for Delhi's development in two more phases on Tuesday and Wednesday.

"Tomorrow (Tuesday), we would release our manifesto on urban infrastructure, which would talk about house tax, parking issues and other matters of developed areas of Delhi.

"It would be followed by our 'youth manifesto', which would be launched day after tomorrow (Wednesday) near the Delhi University," Maken said.

Municipal polls for 272 wards would be held on April 23 and the results would be declared on April 26.

Dismissing the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) as a minor player, Maken said it would be a straight contest between the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Talking about his party's proposed schemes for urban poor, especially daily-wage labourers, Maken said the municipal corporations under the Congress rule would ensure three months' salaries for them in case they did not find work.

"For domestic workers, which are one of the most neglected sections, we would create a helpline number. We would also establish a comprehensive system for their formal registration, their verification and ensure their welfare," he said.

Maken also promised to issue five lakh licences for street vendors, so "they don't have to pay bribes every day to set up their stalls".

"For unauthorised colonies, we would set up a separate development fund worth Rs 2,000 crore," he said.

The Congress leader said all this would be accomplished by boosting the revenue inflow of the three — East, North and South Delhi — municipal corporations.

"We have done elaborate analysis and made concrete plans to boost revenue of the three civic bodies by an additional Rs 5,200 crore every year," he said.

In the run-up to the April 23 civic polls, the Delhi Congress has earlier released its roadmaps for sanitation, public health and education.

It promised to transfer all municipal hospitals to the Delhi government in exchange for primary healthcare centres, saving Rs 652 crore every year.

It also promised improving education standards and infrastructure as well as filling vacancies of teachers in municipal schools.