West Bengal Assembly polls | Trinamool Congress manifesto promises universal basic income, student credit card

Manifesto also promies delivery of rations under the public distribution system at doorstep

March 17, 2021 07:18 pm | Updated 08:36 pm IST - Kolkata

 West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee on a wheel-chair arrives to address an election campaign rally for the upcoming state assembly polls, at Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC leader Mamata Banerjee on a wheel-chair arrives to address an election campaign rally for the upcoming state assembly polls, at Lalgarh in West Midnapore district, Wednesday, March 17, 2021.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday released the Trinamool Congress manifesto for the 2021 Assembly polls with promises of delivery of rations under the public distribution system at doorstep and universal basic income for every family.

Under the income scheme, all the 1.6 crore families under the general category will get ₹500 per month and the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes population ₹1,000 a month. The direct transfers will be in the name of the women head of the family. The other announcements include increasing the benefits of the State government’s Krishak Bandhu scheme from ₹6,000 to ₹10,000 per acre per annum. Ms. Banerjee announced that the new facility under the “Khadya Sathi Scheme” will ensure monthly ration to 1.5 crore families at doorstep.

The TMC chairperson also promised OBC status to Mahishyas and some other caste groups like Tamul, Saha and Tili. The Mahishyas comprise a significant population in Purba Medinipur, and the Chief Minister is contesting from Nandigram from the district. “I shall appoint a special task force to examine and propose OBC status to all the communities who are not recognised so like Mahishyas, Tili, Tamul, Saha but were part of the recommended list of OBC communities in the Mandal Commission,” the manifesto quoted the Chief Minister.

The manifesto also announced a new Student Credit Card scheme with a limit of ₹10 lakhs at only 4% interest. At the launch of the manifesto, Ms. Banerjee told journalists that her government has delivered 110% of what was promised and several schemes like Kanyashree got international recognition.

Khela Hobe TMC poll slogan

Asked what will be the party’s slogan, she said it would be “Khela Hobe Jeta Hobe “ (Game will be played and it will be won)”. She refuted the BJP’s allegations that she was trying to get “sympathy votes” by campaigning on a wheelchair. She said if what the BJP is alleging is true, then the version so many doctors and so many medical reports are all false. “I am still under lot of pain..The BJP is a high-loaded virus; I am saying this politically. I am not going to play the dirty game,” she said.

The Chief Minister also extended support to Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal over the Government of National Capital Territory of Delhi (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

“I am sorry to say Prime Minister, I respect your chair, but it is very unfortunate that you want Lieutenant Governor to have more powers than the elected Chief Minister. I support Arvind Kejriwal and I cannot support a nominated person." Ms. Banerjee wondered how in a democratic set up a nominated person can have more powers than an elected person.

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