POLL-SNIPPETS: SP promises caste-based census, MSP guarantee, scrapping Agnipath in poll manifesto

POLL-SNIPPETS:  SP promises caste-based census, MSP guarantee, scrapping Agnipath in poll manifesto
Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Wednesday unveiled the party's manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, promising a caste-based census by 2025, a legal guarantee for MSP, and scrapping of the Agnipath scheme. The manifesto -- 'Janta Ka Maang Patra - Humara Adhikar' -- was released at the SP headquarters here in the presence of senior party leaders.
The 20-page document has called for a PDA government this time. PDA is an acronym for Pichde (backward classes), Dalit and Alpasankhyak (minorities) that was coined by Yadav. The SP is a constituent of the opposition Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) bloc.
At a press conference in Lucknow, Yadav said a caste-wise census would be conducted after the formation of the INDIA bloc government at the Centre to fill all the vacant government posts of Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Backward Classes by 2025. He said the Agnipath military recruitment scheme would be scrapped and regular recruitment in the armed forces would be introduced.
The manifesto includes giving a legal guarantee of minimum support price to the farmers, waiving agricultural loans of farmers, providing free irrigation facilities, and setting up of a Farmers' Commission. A promise has been made to provide a pension of Rs 5,000 per month to all landless small and marginal farmers.
BJP changed public perception towards politicians, politics: Rajnath Singh
Team Rural Voice
The BJP has changed the public's perception that politicians speak lies to seek votes, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh said on Wednesday and asserted "it is our character that we do what we say".
Speaking at a campaign rally for the BJP's Saharanpur candidate Raghav Lakhanpal, he said, "A few years ago, there was a perception that politicians speak lies to seek votes and go away. They don't care about the public or the nation. This was the common perception towards politicians and political parties." "We have changed this perception. It is our character that we do what we say. Earlier, it was the norm to think that a politician would lie but we changed this perception," Singh added.
The defence minister said political parties make big promises in their manifestos but forget those after assuming power. "We have overcome the crisis of confidence in politics. We had promised to revoke Article 370 and we did it after assuming power. We had promised to abolish triple talaq and we did it after getting a majority in Parliament," he said.
Singh, a former Uttar Pradesh chief minister, said the perception of India has improved under Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He claimed that Modi "halted" the war between Russia and Ukraine to ensure safe passage for Indian students stuck in the war-torn country.
Under Modi's leadership, India -- once an importer of defence technology -- is now exporting those, Singh said.
The defence minister also praised Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for improving the state's law and order. Hitting out at the Samajwadi Party and the Congress, the senior BJP leader said, "In 2017 (assembly elections), the Samajwadi Party and the Congress ran a narrative that the backward classes were angry with the BJP. In 2019 (Lok Sabha elections), they ran a narrative that the Brahmins were angry. During the 2022 assembly elections, they ran a narrative that the Jats were angry. Now, they are claiming that the Rajputs are angry."
The Congress and the Samajwadi Party are contesting the Lok Sabha elections in an alliance in Uttar Pradesh.
Cong creating north-south divide to break India: Amit Shah
Launching a blistering attack on the opposition INDIA bloc, Union Home Minister Amit Shah on Wednesday accused the Congress of creating a north-south divide to break the country.
At an election rally in Guraru block of Gaya district, he also accused the Congress and the RJD of indulging in the politics of appeasement. The Congress party is creating a north-south divide to break the nation which the NDA-led Central government and people of the country will not allow. Their leader Rahul Gandhi is maintaining a stoic silence on this, Shah said.
People have now made up their mind to give a befitting reply to such divisive forces in the Lok Sabha polls and will ensure 400 plus seats for the NDA, he added. The Congress and RJD are indulging in politics of appeasement and that is the reason they are protesting the removal of Article 370 from Jammu and Kashmir, said Shah.
He also claimed that the Congress never wanted Ram Mandir in Ayodhya and never thought of conferring Bharat Ratna to former Bihar chief minister Karpoori Thakur. 
Rahul slams BJP, says history doesn't change by "spewing lies" from political platforms
Amid the BJP's repeated 'Muslim League imprint' barb over the Congress manifesto, Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday said history is witness as to who joined hands with the forces that wanted to divide the country and asserted that history does not change by "spewing lies" from political platforms. Gandhi said that the 2024 Lok Sabha polls are a fight between two ideologies, with the Congress, which has always united India, on one side and those who have always tried to divide people on the other side.
"This election is a fight between two ideologies! On one side there is the Congress, which has always united India, and on the other side there are those who have always tried to divide people," the former Congress chief said in a post in Hindi. History is witness as to who joined hands with the forces that wanted to divide the country and strengthened them and who fought for the unity and independence of the country, Gandhi said.
"Who stood with the British during the 'Quit India Movement'? When India's jails were filled with Congress leaders, then who was running the government in the states with the forces that divided the country?" he said. History does not change by "spewing lies" from political platforms, he added.
Gandhi's remarks come amid repeated attacks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that the Congress manifesto bears a 'Muslim League imprint'.
Earlier known for bandhs, insurgency, NE has made rapid progress in last 10 yrs: Nadda
BJP president J P Nadda on Wednesday claimed that the Northeast, which was earlier known for bandh culture, insurgency and targeted killings, has made rapid progress in the last ten years of the Modi government. He released the party manifesto for the April 19 simultaneous Lok Sabha and assembly elections in the northeastern state.
"The Northeast, which was neglected for decades, has witnessed a sea change after the BJP-led NDA government came to power at the Centre in 2014. The region is now known for progress, development and prosperity," Nadda said. He said the BJP government at the Centre is working for the development of the northeastern states in various sectors, including power, tourism, internet connectivity, agriculture and sports.
The manifesto promises the creation of robust infrastructure, women empowerment, employment and accountable governance.
Stating that the NDA government at the Centre is committed to the development of the Northeast, the BJP chief said the country will only grow if the region develops. "PM Modi always attaches priority to the Northeast. In the last 10 years, he initiated several initiatives to bring the region at par with other areas," Nadda added.
DMK synonymous with corruption, doesn't care about TN's development: PM
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday launched a stinging attack on the ruling DMK in Tamil Nadu, accusing it of indulging in "hate and divisive politics," being synonymous with corruption and having no concern for the state's development.
Addressing election rallies in the state's Vellore and Mettupalayam ahead of the April 19 Lok Sabha polls, he also strongly criticised Congress, calling the national party and DMK, family parties. The Dravidian party had the "first copyright" on corruption and the "family" was intent on looting the state, he said in an apparent reference to the party's first family, headed by its president and Chief Minister M K Stalin.
"The DMK has the first copyright on corruption, the entire family is looting Tamil Nadu," he said in Vellore, while canvassing votes for NDA candidates, including BJP nominees. He further charged the DMK with being "a family company" that was impeding the progress of the state's youth with its "old mindset."
"DMK divides people over language, region, faith and caste. DMK knows that the day people see through this, it will not get a single vote. I have decided to expose the decades-old dangerous politics of DMK," said Modi, whose BJP has launched a spirited fight to make significant electoral inroads in the Dravidian heartland. He alleged that while the country was progressing with 'Make in India' initiative, the DMK stands with those who want to end investments in the country.