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Manifesto nationally focused, will be implemented if INDIA bloc comes to power: TMC leader

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NEW DELHI, April 20: The Trinamool Congress’s (TMC) manifesto for the ongoing Lok Sabha polls is nationally focused and the party will implement its promises when the INDIA bloc’s government comes to power, senior party leader Amit Mitra said on Saturday.

Released recently, the TMC’s manifesto has a major focus on welfare schemes. It also talks about economy and employment, with promises for sectors such as micro, small and medium enterprises (MSME) and gig economy as well as the unorganised sector.

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Noting that several key announcements in the manifesto are “nationally focused”, Mitra said schemes that have been successful in West Bengal will be taken to the national level.

“It is a nationally-focused manifesto. The schemes which have already been delivered in West Bengal will be taken to the national level,” the former finance minister of the state said.

“We will work with our partners in the INDI alliance after the election to roll out these schemes nationally,” he added.

Mitra said good programmes of other states ruled by the constituents of the INDIA bloc will also be taken to the national level.

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“There may be other initiatives that our alliance partners may have successfully implemented in their states, those too would be taken to a national scale when the INDIA bloc comes to power,” he said.

The TMC leader cited examples like breakfast being served in government schools in DMK-ruled Tamil Nadu and the concession on electricity provided by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government in Delhi.

Mitra, who is the special advisor on finance to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, also highlighted the TMC’s promises on a commission for the workers in the unorganised sector, a new national policy for MSMEs and social security for gig economy workers.

“The TMC manifesto has a forward-looking suggestion, which, when we come to power through the INDIA grouping, will be implemented. The time has come for a commission for the unorganised sector. Ninety-three per cent of the workforce is employed by them. They were destroyed by the demonetisation of the BJP-led Centre and were again hurt by the (COVID-19) lockdown,” he said.

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Mitra said West Bengal has 90 lakh MSME units that employ 1.3 crore people. The TMC has promised a new national policy for the MSME sector.

The party led by Banerjee has also promised de-linking the railway budget from the general budget.

“Since the BJP came to power, 710 railway accidents have happened. Why? Fifty per cent of track-safety inspections never happened. Why? Because 1.7 lakh posts of safety inspectors are vacant,” Mitra said.

The TMC, which has said it continues to be a part of the Indian National Developmental Inclusive Alliance (INDIA) even though its seat-sharing talks with the Congress for the ongoing polls have failed, faces the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Left-Congress alliance in West Bengal in the electoral contest.

Its manifesto, however, makes it clear that it is looking at the BJP, which emerged as the second-largest party in the state in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with 17 per cent votes and 18 seats, as its main competitor.

The TMC won 22 seats in the 2019 polls and secured around 40 per cent votes.

Prominent amongst the party’s charges against the BJP-led Centre are “puppeteering” of the West Bengal governor and deactivating Aadhaar cards. Its manifesto also mentions the unprecedented arrests of Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal and former Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren.

The manifesto has also promised scrapping the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA) and National Register of Citizens (NRC), and given an assurance against the implementation of a Uniform Civil Code (UCC) in the country.

The TMC has also promised that it will implement the Sachar committee report and expressed commitment to working with the queer and transgender communities. (PTI)





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