LS polls: SP manifesto offers pension for farmers, caste survey, MSP

It will also end the Agnipath scheme and resume regular recruitment in armed forces, the Samajwadi Party said

Akhilesh Yadav launches the Samajwadi Party manifesto (photo: @samajwadiparty/X)
Akhilesh Yadav launches the Samajwadi Party manifesto (photo: @samajwadiparty/X)

NH Digital

The Samajwadi Party (SP) unveiled its manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections titled 'Janta Ka Maang Patra — Humara Adhikar,' encompassing a comprehensive 20-page vision.

One of the central pledges outlined in the document is the commitment to conduct a caste census by 2025, aiming to ensure justice and inclusive participation by 2029.

"The axis of the development of this country is the caste census, which is necessary. The right to food, the right to relief from inflation, the right to get out of poverty is necessary," said SP chief Akhilesh Yadav after launching the manifesto.

Additionally, the SP manifesto vows to fill all government vacancies for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, and Backward Classes by 2025. Expressing concern over widespread unemployment and deliberate paper leaks, Yadav accused the BJP of enabling such malpractices.

Unveiling the manifesto at the SP headquarters in Lucknow, Yadav emphasised the party's intent to implement a minimum support price (MSP) for all crops based on the Swaminathan Commission recommendations, asserting that farmers, including dairy farmers, deserve this support.

The manifesto promises the waiver of all agricultural loans, including those for landless farmers, in 2024, coupled with the provision of free irrigation. It also commits to establishing a farmers' commission to oversee agricultural loans and provide regular relief to farmers.

Furthermore, the SP manifesto assures a monthly pension of Rs 5,000 for small and marginal farmers, and establishing of markets after every 10 km in agricultural states.

Other key initiatives include setting up of a Rs 10,000 crore fund to ensure timely payments to sugarcane farmers in Uttar Pradesh, and ensuring that private agricultural labourers receive 40 per cent of their wages through MGNREGA.

Yadav also pledged to increase MGNREGA daily wages to Rs 450 and extend working days to 150, while promising to introduce the Urban Employment Guarantee Act in the first Parliamentary session of 2024. The manifesto underscores the commitment to promptly fill all vacant government jobs and implement schemes such as laptop distribution for youth.

Speaking to NH after the manifesto's launch, SP spokesperson Ameeque Jamei said the BJP has been persistently pursuing privatisation, indebting the nation and fanning religious polarisation. "SP chief Akhilesh Yadav has decided to challenge the BJP's authoritarianism. He believes that the BJP's RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) ideology is ending democracy in the country. Akhilesh Yadav has provided hope and aspiration to the youth," said Jamei over the phone from Lucknow.

It is worth mentioning here that the Congress in its manifesto 'Nyay Patra' had also promised to abolish the Agnipath/Agniveer scheme. "If you ask the Army whether they want Agniveer (scheme), they will say they don't want this scheme. This scheme is causing loss to us as well as the country," Congress MP Rahul Gandhi had said.

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