Lok Sabha polls: PDP manifesto focuses on empowering women, youth in J&K

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Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir): Jammu and Kashmir People’s Democratic Party (PDP) President and former Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti on Friday released the party’s manifesto “Apna Vote, Apno Kay Liye” for the Lok Sabha elections and vowed to empower women and youth.

After releasing the party’s manifesto, Mehbooba Mufti said that they are not a big party so they released a small manifesto to cater to the needs of the people of Jammu and Kashmir. “The biggest responsibility as of now is to go to Parliament and to give a voice to the pain of the people of the state. Land-related laws that were under the state list were changed, which led to our resources, be it electricity, water, or lithium, being gifted to outsiders. Contracts for the developmental work are being given to outsiders,” Mufti said.

She further alleged that instead of providing jobs, people are being removed from their jobs. “For the last 5 years, many youths have been in jail without any evidence and no one is talking about it. Horticulture has been negatively affected. Traders are being raided through ED, CBI, I-T,” she added.

The party vowed to improve road connectivity and said that every year, as winter approaches, large parts of J-K find themselves isolated due to severed connectivity. “There is an urgent need for the construction of the Mughal road tunnel, the Saadhna tunnel and the Rajdhaani tunnel to enhance regional connectivity. This will be pursued with the central government,” the PDP manifesto read.

The party said that part of the MPLAD fund will go towards strengthening these skill centres by providing tailoring machines, laptops and digital devices for women. “Every woman dreams of being self sufficient and able enough to stand on her own feet. This is where skill centres play a crucial role. Even though there are many across J&K most lack adequate facilities.

A part of my MPLAD fund will go towards strengthening these skill centres by providing tailoring machines, laptops and digital devices. Our school going girls face inconvenience on a daily basis owing to the lack of toilets in schools. Funds will be devoted to this purpose so that their education doesn’t suffer. Unlike men, women are confined to the four walls of their homes. I intend to create parks for them wherever space is available,” it added.

The pervasive challenge of lack of access to clean drinking water persists, particularly in remote and far-flung regions, it stated. “It is exacerbated by the disproportionate burden placed upon women, who often bear the responsibility of fetching water. MPLAD funds will be dedicated to establishing tube-wells to address this pressing problem,” it said.

The party promises to ensure that recreational facilities like playgrounds are built and sports equipment, along with laptops and digital devices, is distributed to the youth at educational institutions and skill centres. “After the unilateral and illegal revocation of J-Ks special status, its youth have been the first and worst sufferers of a slew of GOI’s unilateral and draconian policies and decisions. Through my MPLAD fund. I will ensure we build recreational facilities like playgrounds and distribute sports equipment, along with laptops and digital devices, at educational institutions and skill centres,” the party said.

The party would allocate funds towards purchasing laptops and computers to strengthen the infrastructure in these schools. “Government schools often lack digital devices, which are crucial for learning in today’s virtual world. Funds will be allocated towards purchasing laptops and computers to strengthen the infrastructure in these schools. Laptops and digital devices for government and government aided educational institutions,” the party said.

“Often, families encounter challenges in securing appropriate venues for hosting marriage ceremonies and other significant functions. The MPLAD fund will be utilised for the establishment of multiple marriage halls, thus providing affordable spaces for such gatherings,” it added. The PDP said that they would assertively seek the return of J-Ks power projects and advocate for free electricity or purchasing it at subsided rates.

“We will assertively seek the return of J-Ks power projects and advocate for free electricity or purchasing it at subsided rates. Projects for lighting public streets and places – Large parts of J&K remain engulfed in darkness. Funds will be directed towards installing street lights,” it said.

“We are committed to implementing comprehensive waste management and collection services. The region currently grapples with significant challenges pertaining to waste disposal. Through strategic initiatives and coordinated efforts we aim to address these pressing issues and establish effective waste management systems to ensure environmental sustainability and public health,” the party said.

Voting for the first phase of Lok Sabha elections 2024 began on Friday across 102 parliamentary constituencies spread over 21 states and Union Territories as the mega seven-phase electoral exercise commenced at 7:00 am.
Udhampur encompasses an expansive area of 16,707 square kilometers. It consists of 18 assembly segments spanning five districts — Kishtwar, Doda, Ramban, Udhampur and Kathua.

The constituency, which was reshaped with three assembly constituencies of Reasi district carved out on the recommendations of the delimitation commission in 2022, had recorded 70.2 per cent polling in Lok Sabha elections in 2019.

The BJP has given a fresh ticket to sitting Udhampur MP and Union Minister Jitendra Singh, who has been representing the constituency in the Lok Sabha since 2014 when he defeated then-Congress leader and former chief minister Ghulam Nabi Azad.

Prominent among others in the fray include Congress leader and two-time former Member of Parliament Choudhary Lal Singh and DPAP’s G M Saroori besides Six independents. In the 2019 elections, the BJP won three seats while the National Conference won the remaining three.

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