Offer of million jobs, pension hike, vaccine spices up LDF manifesto

Offer of million jobs, pension hike, vaccine spices up LDF manifesto
CPM, CPI flags

Thiruvananthapuram: The Left Democratic Front (LDF) has announced that it would create 10 lakh jobs in the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors over the next five years and carry out the effective distribution of COVID-19 vaccine if its candidates are elected in the upcoming local body elections in Kerala. The LDF’s manifesto announcing these programmes was released by its convenor and interim CPM general secretary A Vijayaraghavan.

The manifesto, which stresses on the slogan ‘One vote for development; one vote for social harmony’, also says that welfare pensions would be raised to Rs 1,500 from January 2021. Other offers include pension for everyone above 60 years of age who do not draw any other pension, laptops for 10 lakh people to be distributed through Kudumbashree and a social audit on the services in all panchayats.

The LDF also would be preparing a master plan for poverty alleviation and constructing houses for five lakh people not covered by the Life Mission programme.

Other major highlights of the LDF manifesto are:

Pension scheme

According to the manifesto, a welfare pension scheme will be introduced on January 1, 2021, for workers under the employment guarantee programme. Festival allowance too would be provided to those who worked at least 75 days. Moreover, another three lakh people would be enrolled in the programme.

Group farming

By increasing the number of societies engaged in group farming to 1.5 lakh, an additional three lakh people would gain employment. Loans at low-interest rates will be distributed to these groups. 

Total sanitation

The LDF promises total sanitation in the state in five years by building 12,000 public washrooms and cleaning every river as well as the 80,000 km-long canal network.

Assets register

Apart from preparing an assets register of local bodies, ‘preraks’ (motivators) under the Literacy Mission would be appointed in these institutions. Moreover, all certificates would be made available online.

Housing, health 

The manifesto offers Rs 10 lakh to each family living within 50 m from the coast for their resettlement. Moreover, a housing project will be launched for plantation workers. The LDF is planning to ensure its own land and building for every anganwadi and set up gyms for the public. 

In the health sector, the strength of doctors and other staff would be doubled and out-patient services offered in the morning and evening.

LDF also says that a carbon-neutral project would be implemented in Kerala, all eligible people will be receiving full ration and each household is to be linked to the internet.

Call to save KIIFB

Releasing the manifesto, Vijayaraghavan accused the BJP and Congress of hatching a conspiracy to destroy the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund (KIIFB) which has supported every local body in the state. A vote for the LDF would defeat such designs, he said.

“The UDF has entered into tie-ups with extremist organisations such as the SDPI. Only the LDF can counter such moves politically,” he added.

Among those who spoke at the manifesto-releasing function included CPI's former state secretary Pannyan Raveendran and Minister A K Saseendran.

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