Practicality of AAP electoral promise of quota in private jobs questioned

Party’s announcement is seen as keenness on spreading its footprints outside Delhi

Aam Aadmi Party’s electoral promise of quota in private jobs has sparked reactions from political parties and activists questioning the practicality of such offers.

On Sunday, Rashtriya Lok Dal president Jayant Chaudhary commented on AAP’s promise of an 80% quota to locals in private jobs in Goa. “Can no one see the slippery slope we are setting up? If every State were to enact similar legislation, what would happen to internal migrations that create efficient labour markets? How will industry compete?” he tweeted.

The AAP, working on spreading its footprints outside Delhi, has made similar promises in Punjab and Uttarakhand as well.

Last week, its national convener and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal made a promise in Haldwani that the party would provide 80% reservation for Uttarakhand residents in the jobs.

In the past, Mr. Kejriwal had made a similar promise in Punjab.

Outreach may affect RLD

With an eye on the districts of western Uttar Pradesh that share boundaries with Delhi, observers say, the AAP’s outreach with jobs and free electricity up to 300 units, is going to directly affect the RLD.

The AAP had meetings with Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav but it didn’t result in an alliance or a seat-sharing arrangement. At a news channel’s event recently, when asked about the possibility of an alliance with the AAP, Mr. Yadav said Mr. Kejriwal’s party had already announced that it would fight on all the seats. He said the party was on the verge of announcing its arrangement with the RLD.

Interestingly, the AAP is not alone in making such promises. The Shiromani Akali Dal promised that it would provide 75% quota to locals in private jobs.

To fulfil the promise made by its partner Jannanayak Janta Party, the BJP-led government in Haryana passed the Haryana State Employment of Local Candidate Bill 2020, providing 75% reservation in private sector jobs for the residents. Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan also made a similar promise in 2020.

The Greater Noida Industrial Development Authority had in March issued a circular mandating more than 40% jobs to locals in industries in the area under it. While the local leaders described it as the fulfilment of a long-standing demand, the MNCs said it would make the task of finding the ‘right’ candidates for jobs difficult.

A vote-catching phrase

Anoop Nautiyal, founder of the Dehradun-based Social Development For Communities Foundation, said such promises had also been made in the past by the BJP and the Congress but could not be practically implemented as they were not thought through.

“Unemployment is a reality in Uttarakhand but it is also true that Uttarakhand trains high-quality hospitality professionals who work in many States including Goa. It seems like a vote-catching phrase in the election season but the electorate is wiser these days,” said Mr. Nautiyal.

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