LUCKNOW: Once opposed to English and computers, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has now realised the need to tap the youth voters in Uttar Pradesh, promising them laptops and tablets in his party's election manifesto released here Friday.
Apart from promising sops like higher job quotas to Muslims, he also assured release of Muslim youth hauled up for suspected terrorism. He has also assured implementation of recommendations of the Sachchar Committee and Rangnath Misra Commission for the community's benefit.
Mulayam Singh also declared that he would set up a high-level commission of inquiry to go into the alleged "financial irregularities" committed by the Mayawati government.
"All class 12 passed students will be given laptops while those clearing their class 10 will get tablets if our party comes to power in Uttar Pradesh," Mulayam said at a press conference while releasing the manifesto at the party headquarters here.
He not only offered free education in schools, but even professional education -- engineering and medicine -- without any fees to students with annual family income of less than Rs.5 lakh.
"While books would be given free to all students up to class 8, girls will be entitled to completely free education right up the BA level," he added.
Mulayam Singh also kept the Muslim community in his focus.
"We will give higher reservation to Muslims in all government jobs so that it is proportionate to their population," he said, while adding: "There was need to use the same yardstick for the Muslim quota as it was applied in case of Dalits."
He also assued that if his party were to come to power, he would also ensure release of all such youth, who were put behind bars on the mere suspicion of involvement in terrorist acts.
He has also promised free power supply to weavers, who are mostly Muslims.
"We will provide assured power supply for 22 hours in all urban and 20 hours in rural areas of the state," declared the Samajwadi Party chief, while also promising free power for irrigation purposes."
The Samajwadi Party also proposes to completely do away with acquisition of cultivable land.
"Only non-cultivable land would be acquired for public purposes and that too, by paying the farmer six times of the official circle rate of land," Mulayam Singh said.
"The government will not have any role to play in acquisition of land for development by private players," he added.
The Samajwadi Party also announced soft loans to farmers at an interest rate of 4 percent and a ban on auction of farmers' land in case of default.
"Besides, we will also provide 50 percent of premium towards crop insurance and also pension to all farmers above the age of 65 years," he added.
Among his other promises were "two saris to all women living below the poverty line, replacement of cycle rickshaws by motorised ones, free treatment to all in government hospitals and free shops to all cobblers".