AP takes care of aam aadmi, woos middle class, business Party Silent On Decriminalizing Gay Sex TIMES NEWS NETWORK
New Delhi: In what appears to be a bid to reassure the middle classes and business, AAP’s manifesto promises simplification of trade procedures, steps to contain inflation and zero tolerance for cross-border terrorism while addressing its core interests.
The manifesto released on Thursday is a careful balancing act. While opposing terrorism, it also says terror cases against Muslim youth should be disposed of in six months. It advocates a review of the Armed Forces Special Powers Act but does not outright commit to its repeal.
The social balancing is seen in the AAP manifesto’s silence on decriminalizing sexual relations between consenting adults of the same sex, despite the party’s previous pronouncements in support of gay sex.
As with its position that khaps are informal social institutions (while clarifying that it does not support criminal acts), the decision to drop decriminalization of gay sex seems intended to keep on the right side of social conservatives, particularly in rural areas. AAP sources said decriminalization of gay sex has not been included as the party has clarified its support to the issue previously.
The manifesto indicated that the party is trying not to write off the middle class vote in the wake of its controversial stint in office and promised a series of policy initiatives for governance. It said it would scrap DU’s four-year undergraduate programme and would protect the interests of women and Muslim youth. It said it was in favour of lowering of age for legislators from 25 to 21 years.
AAP reiterated its fivepoint agenda to tackle corruption that include bringing Jan Lokpal bill, Swaraj bill, citizens charter, simplification of government procedures and use of technology. The party also outlined its vision of Swaraj or self-governance by which mohalla sabhas and gram sabhas would be responsible for development in their area.
The 26-page manifesto is the fledgling party’s pitch for the national stage, setting its policy stance on 33 issues including agriculture, business, defence, media and internal security. Putting it in the public domain, AAP national convener Arvind Kejriwal said the manifesto was a “dynamic’’ document and would continue to evolve. The AAP leader said his party was “industry friendly” as creation of wealth was essential for overall development of the country but noted that it was against “crony capitalism”. TOUGH ON TERROR, HARD ON CORRUPTION
BUSINESS AND ECONOMIC REFORM
TRADE | Pro-business and anti-crony capitalism, simplify procedures, but oppose FDI in retail
AGRICULTURE Improve access to credit and insurance to farmers
SOCIAL SECURITY Plan for unorganized sector, removal of contractual jobs
POLICY AND ADMINISTRATIONCORRUPTION | Bring Jan Lokpal bill, Swaraj bill, citizens charter, simplify govt procedures
POLICE | Non-registration of FIR in serious case to be criminal offence, law and order to be separated from investigation
POLLS | Bring back black money, parties to be brought under RTI, right to recall and right to reject planned, lower age for contesting elections from 25 to 21 yrs
SECURITY AND EXTERNAL AFFAIRS
DEFENCE POLICY Transparency in defence procurement, enhancing infrastructure in border areas
FOREIGN POLICY | Zero tolerance for cross-border terrorism, reduce public hostilities among neighbours
INTERNAL SECURITY Review AFSPA, Kashmir an integral part of India, long term solution to Naxalite issue