Trinamool manifesto focuses on roti, kapda and makaan (Roundup)

Kolkata, March 22: Moving from the slogan of ‘Ma Mati Manush (Mother, land and people)’ to ‘roti kapda aur makaan (food, dress and shelter), the Trinamool Congress Saturday released its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha polls, promising electoral and judicial reforms, transparency and a corruption-free India.

The document said if voted to power, the Trinamool would pursue a hands-off policy on land acquisition, come out with a national loan waiver scheme for small and poor farmers and ensure free medical services for senior citizens.

Trinamool chief Mamata Banerjee, who officially unveiled the document, attacked the Congress, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) saying they have “lost their credibility”.

“Roti, kapda and makaan is our focus. Our manifesto is for a dynamic India. Our manifesto is people-friendly, industry-friendly and agriculture-friendly,” Banerjee told a large gathering of mediapersons media at her residence in south Kolkata’s Kalighat.

The manifesto was in two parts – one dwelling on national issues and another with those pertaining to West Bengal.

Calling for state funding of elections as a part of the fight against graft, Banerjee iterated the system has become corrupt.

“We will bring in electoral reforms. We will set up a mechanism to make the election process transparent. We will make it state-funded through the Election Commission”.

She also alleged that parties claiming to be poor have also amassed a lot of wealth while new outfits which came into existence some months back were also flush with money.

“Something is wrong… how is it possible?” she asked.

The manifesto promised a mechanism for identifying black money, and unearthing such wealth even from foreign banks and tough laws against adulteration of food, fuel, and medicines.

Claiming that “scams in defence deals” have maligned India’s image, Banerjee said her party favoured procurement of defence equipment through a “transparent e-processing”.

The Trinamool, which has strongly opposed the creation of Telangana, said bifurcation of states can take place only after such a proposal is cleared by the state government concerned.

Refering to the millions of pending cases in courts, the manifesto called for judicial reforms by setting up a review committee to bring in “pro-people systematic changes” in the judiciary. it said exclusive women’s courts and more fast-track courts would be set up for expeditious trial of cases.

The party declared that it would not allow forcible acquisition of land, and “modify the land acquisition law if it was voted to power.

“We will create land maps and land banks to help industry acquire land. Government will not acquire any land. Tribals should get the right to forests.”

The manifesto resolved to introduce a judicious taxation system, and laid stress on rain water harvesting and a new energy policy, upgrade of the National Highway connectivity, and amendment of the Motor Vehicles Act.

The Trinamool also said it would form a “talent bank” creating a lot of employment opportunities.

The main opposition CPI-M ridiculed the Trinamool manifesto.

“It is all about false promises and tall claims, it has no substance,” said CPI-M politburo member Surjya Kanta Mishra.

IANS