Vadodara, Dec 6 (UNI) The Janata Dal(U) today said it would scrap all proposals of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Gujarat if it was voted to power.
The JD(U) election manifesto, released here by party president Sharad Yadav, said the SEZs being set up in highly fertile agricultural lands, had posed a serious threat to the country's food security. It also strongly opposed the mall culture and entry of big corporate houses in the retail sector.
Expressing optimism that JD(U) would play a crucial role in government formation in case of a hung assembly, Yadav said his party would close down all big bazars and retail stores being opened by Reliance and others with a view to protect the interests of seven million small traders and vegetable vendors of the state.
The manifesto promised to set up special commissions for the tribals, farmers and poor of the state to safeguard their interests and ensure their all-round development.
Alleging that the tribals of Gujarat, who constituted 20 per cent of the state's total population, were most neglected, the JD(U) president said it was only in the state, where scheduled land of the tribals were being illegally converted into non-scheduled land but no one was intervening in the matter.
On the delay in the implementation of the Forests Right Bill meant for the tribals, Mr Yadav said his party would give highest priority to implement this bill in the interest of the poor tribals.
Among other things, the manifesto promised formulation of a new policy to check rampant misuse of natural resources, review of BPL policy, filling of all the 40,000 ST backlog in government jobs and 14-hour three-phase power supply to farmers.
It may be recalled here that JD(U), which has got a strong base in the tribal belt of Gujarat, particularly in the Bharuch and Narmada districts, has two members in the outgoing Gujarat Assembly.