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Mulayam promises youth laptops, job quotas to Muslims

Samajwadi Party chief tries to woo all sections of society in party's manifesto; also promises soft loans to farmers, saris to poor women

Once opposed to English and computers, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav has now realised the need to tap the youth voters in UP, promising them laptops and tablets in his party's election manifesto released here yesterday.


Sop opera: Mulayam Singh also assured release of Muslim youth hauled
up for suspected terrorism. File pic


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.

"All students who pass class 12 will be given laptops while those clearing 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 to the BA level," he added. Mulayam 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."

The Samajwadi Party also announced soft loans to farmers at an interest rate of 4 per cent and a ban on auction of farmers' land in case of default. "Besides, we will also provide 50 per cent 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".

Mulayam is not serious: Digvijaya
Meanwhile, Congress general secretary Digvijaya Singh  dismissed Mulayam Singh Yadav's pledge to reserve more jobs for Muslims by claiming the Samajwadi Party leader was not serious. Digivjaya Singh said the Samajwadi Party would need 300 MPs to fulfil its promise of providing higher job quota for Muslims. "I wonder how SP, a regional party with 21 members in the Lok Sabha, can think of amending the constitution?" he said.

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