Gujarat local polls | Congress offers property tax waiver, mohalla clinics

People are deprived of basic amenities like proper roads, drinking water, it says.

The Gujarat Congress on Thursday announced major sops in its manifesto for civic polls offering waiver of property tax and promising to create free Wi-Fi zones and parking places in six cities which are going for the local elections on February 21.

The Opposition party has also announced to install purifiers on city roads to improve air quality amidst rising pollution, free education in English medium in civic-run schools and tax exemption to shopkeepers and traders hit by COVID-19 lockdown.

It promised to provide free parking facilities in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat, Rajkot, Jamnagar and Bhavnagar cities.

The BJP is in power in the civic bodies of the six cities as the urban areas are its stronghold.

Taking a cue from the successful model of local health clinics run by the Aam Aadmi Party government in Delhi, the Congress also announced to open “Tiranga Clinics” in each ward to provide basic health care services.

It said it will convert some of the civic-run schools into model schools and start imparting free education in English medium from Class 1, another sector where the party has taken inspiration from the AAP in Delhi.

Though the BJP has been in power since long in these cities, people are still deprived of basic amenities like proper roads, drinking water, sewerage, education and affordable healthcare, State Congress president Amit Chavda claimed while releasing the manifesto.

“By this manifesto, we hereby take a pledge to resolve these issues.”

According to him, his party will abolish the contractual employment system and start the process of regular recruitment in these civic bodies within 24 hours of coming to power.

"Within one week, we will start the repair work of all roads and would ensure pothole-free roads for five years.”

As per the manifesto, the other promises include construction of hospitals, inviting the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to bring in more transparency and accountability in how funds are spent and issuance of cards for availing government schemes and facilities, such as free transport.

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