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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Kerala polls: UDF manifesto promises Rs 6,000 a month for the poor, Rs 2,000 for homemakers 

To win over the Hindu faithful wounded over the young women’s entry at Sabarimala temple, the UDF has promised to bring in a legislation to protect the traditions at the temple.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: March 20, 2021 9:40:54 pm
UDFUDF leaders release the party's manifesto for Kerala Assembly elections in Thiruvananthapuram. (PTI photo)

In thrust on social security and welfare schemes, the Opposition Congress-led UDF Saturday unveiled its manifesto for the April 6 assembly elections, promising a monthly income of Rs 6,000 for the destitute families, an increase of monthly welfare pensions to Rs 3,000, legislation for protecting the interest of the faithful at Sabarimala temple and five kg of free rice to all non-priority ration card holders.

Congress MP and chairman of UDF manifesto committee Benny Behnan, who released the manifesto, said the poll document is aimed at building a prosperous Kerala.

The UDF manifesto has further promised to implement the minimum income scheme Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay), which Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had mooted in the party’s manifesto ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. As per the scheme, the poor would get a monthly income of Rs 6,000 in their bank accounts, which would work out to Rs 72,000 in a year. Housewives, aged 40-60  who are not entitled for the monthly income scheme of Nyay, would be given an allowance of Rs 2000 per month.

To win over the Hindu faithful wounded over the young women’s entry at Sabarimala temple, the UDF has promised to bring in a legislation to protect the traditions at the temple. The manifesto has also promised a department for peace and harmony. Targeting women who want to work from home, the UDF promises a skill development platform.

It also proposed financial aid for those who have died of Covid-19, including the expatriates, though the amount is not mentioned.

According to the manifesto, breast-feeding mothers from Scheduled Tribe category, who are not in government service, would be given Rs 3,000 as allowance for six months. Besides, mothers would get a two-year age relaxation for writing the examinations conducted by the public service commission.

In the infrastructure arena, the manifesto has promised six-lane highway, north-south highway, light metro projects for Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram cities and completion of second phase of Kochi metro. For farmers, the UDF has promised to increase the minimum support price of rubber to Rs 250 per kg and that of paddy to Rs 30 per kg. It also says farm tourism would be given special thrust and 100 villages would be developed for ensuring ethnic Kerala experience.

According to the UDF, the debts of marginal farmers availed before the floods of 2018 would be written off. A new commission, modelled after Sachar Commission, would be formed to study issues of minorities other than Muslims.

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