BJP promises to make Delhi ‘one of the best cities in the world’ (Lead)

November 18th, 2008 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Bharatiya Janata PartyNew Delhi, Nov 18 (IANS) The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) pledged in its manifesto released Tuesday to make Delhi “one of the best cities” in the world if it won the assembly elections and made several promises including providing Rs.20 million an acre to farmers for land acquired for development work.Coming down heavily on the Congress which has ruled the city-state for the past 10 years, the BJP’s chief ministerial candidate V.K. Malhotra said his party was determined to give the Indian capital a thorough makeover it order to make “beautiful, clean and full of greenery”.

Without making a direct reference to Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray’s tirade against people from north India in Maharashtra, the 32-page manifesto said the BJP was committed to all communities who have made Delhi their home.

“Delhi is (a) mini India. People from different states, speaking diverse languages and dialects, preserve their regional cultures in Delhi. Their languages, culture and regional characteristics would be preserved and respected,” it said.

The manifesto vowed to regularise all unauthorised colonies - which are home to hundreds of thousands of the poorest of the poor - and provide them civic amenities. The BJP pledged to end the city’s perennial water and electricity scarcity.

Malhotra, who addressed reporters in the company of his senior party colleagues, said private power companies would be forced to change the fast-running electricity meters and if they fail to do so their agreements would be cancelled.

He also promised to review and modify the hugely controversial bus rapid transit (BRT) system, a road project, in south Delhi.

The party promised to work for the full statehood status for Delhi, if elected.

Among the other promises the manifesto makes are giving one-time amnesty for regularizing the unauthorised construction in houses and shops done till now, forcing out Bangladeshis staying illegally in Delhi, and setting up 50 new colleges.

The Commonwealth Village would be constructed six months before the 2010 Games start, he said.

He also promised to make the Yamuna river clean and pollution free.

The party also promised to establish a network of libraries and reading rooms, punishment for the culprits of the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and provide relief to Kashmiri and Afghani Sikh migrants here.

He further promised to take steps to curb crime and ensure security of women and senior citizens.

The BJP is trying to dethrone the Congress, which has ruled Delhi since 1998. Elections in the capital are due Nov 29.

Delhi BJP chief Harsh Vardhan announced that his party would make attempts to curb traffic jams and develop multi-floored and underground parking lots.

He also promised to create 10,000 additional beds in Delhi hospitals and open a dispensary, gym, community centre and ornamental park each in every ward.

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