Releasing the election manifesto here on Wednesday, West Bengal Left Front Committee Chairman Biman Bose said the eighth Left Front government will focus on “agriculture, industry, peace, democracy and progress,” in the State if it returns to power.
Listing the objectives of the Front in the coming five years, the manifesto states that it wants to ensure that West Bengal is one of the top-ranked States on the three parameters of the human development index — purchasing power, education and health.
“Ensuring dignity, development and employment to those who are below the poverty line,” is the Left Front's main objective. It also highlights the need for the expansion of agriculture, industry and the services sector to generate employment and increase the income of the nearly 40 lakh poor families in the State.
“The need for agriculture will remain forever. At the same time the need for industry is also a call of the times,” Mr. Bose said. The Left Front has promised that the present scheme of providing rice at Rs. 2 per kg to the below poverty line families through the public distribution system would be extended to all families earning less than Rs. 10,000 a month. In addition, essential commodities like pulses, cooking oil, sugar, biscuits and clothes would be brought under PDS.
In order to improve health services, the Left Front plans to enact a law that ensures health for all. It would cover insurance and other schemes to provide treatment for diseases that afflict most people and are life-threatening.
The manifesto also proposes a doubling of funds allocated for development schemes for the Schedules Castes, Schedules Tribes, Other Backward Classes, minorities, refugees and women and for regions, including north Bengal, the Sunderbans and the western region.
It is critical of the U.S. intervention in foreign policy and points to the “anti-people grand alliance” formed by the Trinamool, BJP, Congress, Maoists, and domestic and foreign powers.
Keywords: West Bengal polls