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

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Wednesday released Trinamool Congress’s manifesto for 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 universal basic family income scheme, all the 1.6 crore families under general caste will get ₹500 per month and remaining Scheduled Caste, Scheduled Tribe population will get ₹1,000 a month. The direct transfers will be in the name of the woman head of the family.

The other announcements include increasing benefits of State government’s Krishak Bandhu scheme from ₹6,000 per acre to ₹ 10,000 acre per annum. Under the doorstep delivery of food grains under public distribution system, Ms. Banerjee announced that new facility under “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. Mahishyas comprise of a significant population in Purba Medinipur, and the Chief Minister is contesting from Nandigram seat from the district. “ I shall appoint a special task force to examine and propose OBC status to all the communities who are not currently recognized as OBCs like Mahishyas, Tili, Tamul, Saha but were part of the recommended list of OBC communities in Mandal Commission,” the manifesto quoted the Chief Minister.

The TMC’s manifesto also announced a new Student Credit Card scheme with a credit limit of ₹10 lakhs with an interest rate only 4%. Speaking to journalists at the launch of party manifesto, Ms. Banerjee highlighted that her government has delivered 110% of what was promised and several of the State government schemes like Kanyashree has got international recognition.

Khela Hobe TMC slogan

Asked what will be the party’s slogan of the upcoming election, Ms. Banerjee said it is “Khela Hobe Jeta Hobe “ (Game will be played and it will be won)”. She refuted the allegations raised by the BJP that she was trying to get “sympathy votes” by campaigning on a wheelchair. Ms Banerjee said that if what the BJP is alleging is true, then the version of so many doctors and so many medical reports are all false .

“I am still under lot of pain. BJP is a high-loaded virus; I am saying this politically. I am not going to play the dirty game,” she said.

Extends support to Kejriwal

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 this is very unfortunate that you want Lieutenant Governor to have more powers that elected Chief Minister. I support Arvind Kejriwal, but I cannot support a nominated person", the West Bengal Chief Minister said. Ms Banerjee wondered as to how in a democratic set up a nominated person can have more powers than an elected person.

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