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Rediff.com  » Election » SP takes a U-turn on 'stone-age' manifesto

SP takes a U-turn on 'stone-age' manifesto

April 12, 2009 20:52 IST
Facing criticism for opposing English and computers in its poll manifesto as "living in the 19th century", the Samajwadi Party was at pains on Sunday to explain it was not against their use but only did not want them to be made compulsory.

The Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party attacked Mulayam Singh Yadav's party for dragging India into the stone ages while Priyanka Gandhi ridiculed the SP document as a "strange manifesto in 21st century" and wondered who drafted it.

The former Uttar Pradesh chief minister said he was not against studying in English, when it was pointed out that his son had studied in a convent school. But he insisted that it "should not be compulsory in offices".

"I am not against English but its use should not be a compulsion. It should not be compulsory in public life," Yadav, the SP chief, said in Lucknow.

Yadav said be it the government jobs or private jobs, the compulsion of using English should end. SP general secretary Amar Singh said they were not opposing use of computers but they should not lead to loss of jobs.

"We have said that those who do not get equal opportunity should not have English as a compulsion. And computers should remain but should not replace human workforce," Singh told media persons in Patna.

BJP spokesperson Siddarth Nath said, "It seems to be a manifesto of a party living in 19th century while the youthful nation is aspiring and beckoning to lead the world in the 21st century."

"A manifesto like this which seeks to drag India into the stone ages must be condemned and rejected," Congress spokesman Abhishek Singhvi told PTI.

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