AAP pledges gram swaraj, to end contract labour

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The Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) has pledged to give absolute powers to ‘gram sabhas’ to look after schools, hospitals, civic amenities and infrastructure projects, if it is voted to power in the forthcoming national elections.

Promising an array of initiatives in its manifesto for the Lok Sabha poll, AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal said his party was committed to bringing all government employees from the peon to the prime minister under the ambit of a revised version of the anti-corruption law, called jan lokpal.

He said there would be a citizen’s charter for time-bound delivery of services and strict action would be taken against officials who fail to deliver work on time.

Stressing the party’s stand to bring in ‘swaraj’ to the country, Kejriwal said the ‘gram sabha’ secretariat would have the authority to issue birth, caste and income-proof certificates to the citizens in a locality.

“We will empower them to take a call even on opening of liquor shops in a particular area.” He said the gram sabhas would be equipped to take action against the corrupt.

Kejriwal said his party would do away with the practice of sending an accused to police custody and ensure videography of all interrogations. The refusal by the police to lodge an FIR would be made a criminal offence.

“We will do away with the procedure of police custody. All accused will be interrogated in judicial custody and the entire process will be videographed as

well,” Kejriwal said.

In order to give functional autonomy to the police, the manifesto said the Supreme

Court judgment on police reforms would be implemented. It said separate wings would be created in police to deal with law and order and investigation.

AAP promised to double the number of courts and judges in five years. Emphasising on judicial accountability, the party said it would make it mandatory for all judges to declare their assets in line with the proposed jan lokpal bill.

Elaborating on its economic policy, Kejriwal said AAP was pro-business and pro-industries. “We are not against industries or business, but we are against crony capitalism. We believe that unless industries flourish, we won’t be able generate jobs. But we are against the system of contract labour, because it violates basic human rights.”

On foreign policy, AAP advocated friendly relations with all nations, but had ‘zero tolerance’ for cross-border terrorism. “We will work to reduce political hostilities in our immediate neighbourhood, but have zero tolerance for cross-border terrorism,” he said.

The party also favours lowering the age of candidates for contesting elections from 25 to 21. AAP promised to take effective steps to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks.

The party would explore methods to enforce public accountability and regulation on the media. “Regulation needed to go hand-in-hand with media freedom against interference by state and political authorities,” the manifesto said.

Aping the Marxists, Kejriwal said his party would not promote nuclear energy projects. “Nuclear projects can prove disastrous for one and all.”


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