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Sunday, April 11, 2021

Kerala: LDF hops on to homemaker bandwagon, promises pension

The 900-page manifesto also assures raising the social security pension in various categories from the existing Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,500, in phases, and to increase farmers’ income by 50%.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: March 20, 2021 7:06:00 am
Senior LDF leaders at the release of the manifesto in Thiruvananthapuram on Friday. (PTI Photo)

The ruling LDF Friday unveiled its election manifesto with a guarantee of pension for homemakers, along with a promise of 40 lakh job opportunities, 15,000 start-up units, special cover for PSUs, and a drive to channelise private investment worth Rs 10,000 crore.

The 900-page manifesto also assures raising the social security pension in various categories from the existing Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,500, in phases, and to increase farmers’ income by 50%.

The pension for homemakers, “acknowledging the value of their work”, makes the LDF the latest party after the AIADMK, DMK and Kamal Haasan’s MNM in Tamil Nadu, and the Trinamool Congress in West Bengal, to woo women with such a promise. On Friday, while on a tour to Assam, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also announced a monetary guarantee for homemakers.

However, the LDF document gives no details regarding its pension scheme for women or the criteria for it.

The manifesto was released by a galaxy of LDF leaders, barring Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan who is campaigning in Palakkad district, as the CPM-led front sought a second consecutive term.

Calling “corruption-free governance” one of the biggest successes of the Vijayan government, the LDF said it would tell the electorate about its “historic achievement” of “having fulfilled 580 of its 600 promises”. The manifesto said the LDF government had taken the Kerala model to new heights, combining social welfare with infrastructure development. It said Kerala would remain “an island against neo-liberal policies”.

The manifesto promises 15,000 km of road improvement, removal of power shortages, strengthening of the cooperative banking sector, a phased increase in wages of all grassroot-level government workers, “crime mapping” to check violence against women, and dwelling units for tribals and SC communities. It also promised an annual social auditing of the manifesto every year.

With PTI inputs

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