Congress manifesto promises statehood to JK, abolition of Agnipath scheme

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Commuters walk near Ghanta Ghar in Lal Chowk Srinagar. [FPK Photo/ Kaisar Ali]

New Delhi: Restoration of full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir is a key commitment outlined in the Congress manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, titled ‘Nyay Patra’, released on Friday at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi.

Led by Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and attended by former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, the manifesto focuses on five ‘pillars of justice’ with 25 associated guarantees.

Among its pledges, the Congress vows to pass a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservations for SCs, STs, and OBCs if elected.

Additionally, the party promises to fill nearly 30 lakh sanctioned vacancies within the central government and implement a 10 per cent job quota in educational institutions for economically weaker sections (EWS) across all communities.

The manifesto also proposes adopting the Rajasthan model of cashless insurance for universal healthcare, ensuring coverage of up to Rs 25 lakh. Furthermore, the Congress intends to conduct a nationwide socio-economic and caste census and provide a new ‘right to apprenticeship act’ offering one-year apprenticeships to diploma holders or graduates under the age of 25.

In terms of agriculture, the Congress plans to enshrine Minimum Support Prices (MSP) into law, aligning with recommendations from the Swaminathan Commission.

The manifesto emphasises the need for a democratic government that transcends religious, linguistic, and caste divides, calling for a fundamental change in governance style over the past decade.

Other proposals in the manifesto include launching an urban employment program to guarantee jobs for the urban poor in infrastructure renewal and reconstruction, and abolishing the Agnipath program while enabling the armed forces to achieve full sanctioned strength through normal recruitment processes.

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