Dehra Dun : The Samajwadi Party, which is in power in the adjoining state of Uttar Pradesh, is keen to make inroads in Uttarakhand in the coming Lok Sabha elections, for which it held the meeting of its state executive at Kotdwara, the stepping platform into the Garhwal hills and the higher reaches of this small mountain state.
However, not having met with an encouraging response from the electorate in Uttarakhand in the few vidhan sabha seats where the party fielded its candidates in the last assembly elections, the party top brass has decided on a new strategy for catching the mind of the electorate. This was evident in the recently held meeting of the state executive.
Though it is going hard for the ‘cycle’ (election symbol of the Samajwadi Party) to go up the steep inclines of this small hill state, but the party executive has touched upon the delicate issues that rake the minds of the people. One of them is that it be declared a backward state, so that it can get similar benefits to the north-eastern states in various issues.
It was decided that taking into consideration the fact that it is a mountainous state with difficult terrain and hinterlands that are hard to reach, which is one of the main factors for its backwardness, there is need to evolve a different set ogf guidelines by planners for its development, so that the benefits can percolate down to the masses.
The party leaders were of the view that the poor people of the state be given 10 per cent reservation in government jobs so that the unemployed youth of the state share a fair chance of getting employment and a special economic package also be given to the state to tide over its crisis and expedite the development process.
They were of the opinion that the rights of the people over the forests and alpine pastures that they had been enjoying for years be restored, the hydro-electric projects that have been stopped for one reason or the other be restarted to provide jobs and increase the revenue of Uttarakhand and there be relaxation in the Forest Act for the people.
Party state incharge, Aslam Khan while asking the workers to gear up for the forthcoming Lok Sabha elections was also of the view that the state be rewarded for the efforts it is making for the conservation of the fragile ecology and environment and protecting the green cover, for which the centre should give it a green bonus.