Ek Lota Paani,
and Atomic Plant! Three
Gaga Over Achievements and Manifesto
By Zubair Ahmed
What if BJP on national level lost the opportunity to release its manifesto, VV Khalid, an independent candidate from the Islands has come out with an impressive manifesto encompassing all sectors with three bridges, separate cadre for the Islands, Unemployment allowance of Rs 5000/- and stopping corruption in all government departments.
The sitting MP reels out a list of achievements and terms his stint a successful one. Bishnu's bucket list also looks promising. But, the list of achievements of Congress party in the last five years is not very different. The list of promises too are same. Both the parties claim that the work was done due to their efforts. And, there are others too, who claim to have achieved all those due to their hard work.
Opening up of medical college in 2015 is touted as achievement by both Congress and BJP.
If someone has to be believed, only the Andaman and Nicobar Administration can tell the Islanders who fathered the project? Or a paternity test can only prove whose letter or demand worked? Letters and petitions are like the millions of sperm released, and nobody knows the fortunate one that succeeded.
100% employment to the Islanders, expediting Fibre Optic Cable project, Constitution of Legislative Assembly, Railway line between Port Blair and Diglipur, Tribal status to
community, Mediclaim policy for all Islanders, Review of PAT Regulations and
Regularisation of all encroachments and three bridges are a few points from
Bishnu Pada Ray's manifesto. Ranchi
Legislative Assembly, Inner-line Permit, 100% local recruitment, Regularisation of excess land, three bridges, legal status to tribal council, air-connectivity between Port Blair and Vizag, Augmentation of drinking water supply, Opening of Central University, special package for tourism and fisheries sector are from the unending list of 'demands' of Kuldeep Rai Sharma.
Both Congress and BJP demand enhancement of relief to tsunami affected farmers for the submerged land with retention of land.
Aam Aadmi Party has single point agenda - fighting corruption. Nothing else is in the public domain as of now.
CP(I)M too has a mammoth agenda which includes statehood, separate Lok Sabha seat for Nicobarese, three bridges, establishment of atomic power station, regularization of all encroachments on government land, house sites to landless, stopping influx and fighting corruption at all levels.
CG Saji is another independent candidate whose tag line is Ek mutti khana, ek lota paani aur ek gas cylinder!
Interestingly, the BJP manifesto says that it will expedite Fibre Optic Cable project. If the MP had a role to play in its implementation, why did he not interfere when the whole project was being 'pushed and pulled' by concerned authorities? Or, can he explain the exact status of the project?
As the political parties have no much say in the affairs, the general election has virtually turned into a referendum between Kuldeep Rai Sharma and Bishnu Pada Ray. The one with greater charisma and higher x-factor is likely to carry the day.
No firework could be expected in an election sans any sort of wave or lack of emotive issues. It is more like a referendum where people will decide in favour of or against Kuldeep or Bishnu not because of their programmes, vision, capabilities or suitability but for the heck of it.