MUMBAI/ NEW DELHI: The Maharashtra Vikas Aghadi (MVA), comprising unlikely partners — the Shiv Sena, Nationalist Congress Party and the Congress — on Thursday promised to uphold the secular values of the Constitution in their four-page Common Minimum Programme (CMP).
“The alliance partners commit to uphold the secular values enshrined in the Constitution on contentious issues of national importance as well of state importance especially having repercussions/consequences on the secular fabric of the nation, the Shiv Sena, NCP and Congress will take a joint view after holding consultations and arriving at a consensus,” said the preamble of CMP.
One of the alliance partners of the MVA — the Shiv Sena — not long ago wanted the word ‘secular’ removed from the preamble of the Constitution as it felt India was a Hindu Rashtra. “The alliance has been shaky right from the word go. The Shiv Sena has been compromising on many fronts to keep the alliance intact and it remains to be seen how long they can continue to do so,” a Mumbai-based political researcher said.
Other prominent promises in the CMP are focused on farmers, unemployment and youth. The CMP promises loan waiver, crop insurance for farmers while it assures fellowships for unemployed youth and 80% reservation in jobs for local youth.
Experts feel that the promise for 80% job reservation is on sticky ground. “Though it is not illegal, such a move could hurt the cosmopolitan fabric of Mumbai... Thousands come to the city in search of jobs. What will happen to them?” asked an anthropology professor from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences. To ensure good health for all, the government promises to launch `1 clinics at taluka levels to conduct pathological tests.