Elvis Gomes, Aam Aadmi Party’s Chief Ministerial candidate took the stage on January 14 to announce the party’s manifesto. Speaking to the media, Gomes said that the Aam Aadmi Party vows to restore the dignity of Goan women and senior citizens. He further said that the AAP was the only party taking progressive, people-friendly policies to the Goan electorate. Gomes was of the belief that the AAP wave in Goa was building up and taking over the state. Gomes said that once the AAP government came into power, they would investigate the Mopa project for speculative private land deals of more than 50 lakh square metres around Mopa by politicians.
Speaking of other developmental projects, Gomes said that the Aam Aadmi Party government would do everything in their power to continue the civilian airport at Dabolim. He further added that the AAP government would make sure that all vacant jobs in the state would be filled in a time bound manner and punishment would be meted out to officers who delayed in providing services to the people of Goa.
The Chief Ministerial candidate went on to launch AAP’s manifesto for the Goa assembly elections, starting on February 4, 1017. Here are 10 important features from the manifesto:
1. Gomes promised that if AAP came to power, the government would set up 400 Vaddo clinics like Mohalla clinics across the state. Free annual health check-ups for women and senior citizens at AAP’s flagship “Vaddo clinics” was also promised by the AAP. This comes as a bit of an irony considering the health scare, the AAP-ruled Delhi faced a few month ago with the rise in Chikungunya nd malaria, while its Health Minister was absent from the state.
2. The CM candidate further assured that the Goa medical college, the Hopsicio and the Asilo Hospitals would get upgraded to AIIMS like infrastructure. 500 additional beds would also be included in the government hospitals across the state.
3. The AAP leader promised an exgratia of Rs 1 crore to the kin of policemen who lose their lives in the line of duty.
4. The Aam Aadmi Party promised the supply of free and clean water to every household in the state of up to 20,000 litres per month.
5. The regional plan 20121 would be brought up within a year and the plan for the next 20 years wold also be developed, the party promised.
6. Women empowerment was one of the major takeaways from the manifesto as Gomes promised to restore the dignity of Goan women nd senior citizens. According to the manifesto, 5 women-only police stations are to be set up in the state. Free sanitary pads would be provided to school girls and would be made purchasable at affordable prices in public toilets.
7. Considering that Goa gets most of its revenue from tourism, the AAP promised to facilitate online booking and promote home stays through its tourism website.
8. Forests Rights Act 2005 would be implemented and the River Sal, which has been dying of pollution, along with other water bodies would be rejuvenated.
9. Elvis Gomes promised affordable loans for repairing and maintaining Goan Houses, especially for EWS.
10. Finally, on the topic of education, Gomes said that Goa’s college students will not have to suffer from high re-evaluation fees. AAP Government will slash re-evaluation fees by 50%. Re-evaluation will be completed in a time-bound and transparent manner.
The manifesto of the Aam Aadmi Party looks good on paper and far away from the outstretched one it had introduced in 2014 for the Delhi elections. However, it still lacks in the details as to how some of these promises are going to kept. Meanwhile, it has to be noted that the manifesto looks promising, although, if it would be enough to win the elections for AAP in a BJP dominated state, is to be seen.