CPI(M) on Friday termed the Congress manifesto as a “list of broken promises” and attacked BJP for not coming out with one even a few days before elections, saying the campaign process was being diverted to discussing few individuals than issues afflicting the people.
“The campaign process is being diverted by both Congress and BJP to discussing a few individuals and not real issues affecting the people. But the people now have the opportunity to punish those who have not delivered,” CPI(M) Politburo member A K Padmanabhan told reporters here.
He chastised the BJP for neither coming out with its manifesto even a few days before elections nor its promised vision document and said, “It is also a new experience that editorials are being written on the proposed documents which are yet to see the light of the day.”
Senior CPI(M) leader Sudha Sundararaman and Padmanabhan released seven election booklets on issues like food security, healthcare, rights of worker and farmers, adivasis, women and dalits, explaining the party’s stands on these issues.
Padmanabhan, who is also President of party’s trade union wing CITU, accused the government of “cheating” the people on the issue raising the pension limit to Rs 1,000, saying “no notification has yet been issued, though the Cabinet decided to implement it by April one this year.”
“How long will it take, no one knows. So the workers would lose money and the employers would make a gratis windfall by saving on that money,” he said.
Referring to the booklets, he said the current law on food security “in now way” guarantees such security to all and said the CPI(M) demands a new law based on universal public distribution system instead of those targetted alone.
While there was no law to protect the interests of farmlabourers so far, “land grab in the name of industrialisation has to be ended,” Padmanabhan said. He also sought 200 days of work under MGNREGA with a minimum wage of Rs 300.
“Unfortunately, the peasantry and the workers are not on the agenda of the government, neither they are on the focus of the media,” the CPI(M) leader said.
About one crore workers, working in several schemes of various ministries, were “treated as volunteers and not workers”, employed on contract without any guarantee of wages or other facilities, he said.