UDF, LDF woo poor with sops, welfare measures in Kerala

Wednesday 24th March 2021 07:20 EDT

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led United Democratic Front and the ruling Left Democratic Front in Kerala released their manifestos last week by announcing a number of sops and welfare measures for the poor and marginalised. Unlike its Left rival, UDF’s manifesto made a commitment to protect the beliefs and traditions of Sabarimala devotees and promised an end to political violence in the state.

The Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) envisaged by Rahul Gandhi - assuring a minimum income of Rs 6,000 per month for economically backward families, Rs 2,000 per month for unemployed homemakers in the 40-60 age group who are not part of Nyay scheme, 5 kg rice for all white ration cardholders, a hike in welfare pensions from Rs 1,600 to Rs 3,000 - and maximising PSC job possibilities are the main welfare-oriented highlights of the manifesto.

Reaching out to the vast majority of women voters, the front has assured a two years age relaxation for mothers appearing for examinations for government jobs. Free food kits to those who had been affected by Covid-19 and no bill hospitals are among the other schemes of the front, Benny Behanan MP, chairman of the manifesto committee said.

LDF promises pension for homemakers

The LDF promises ‘pension’ for homemakers, creation of 40,00,000 jobs for the youth and 15,000 startups over next five years. It also assured raising the social security pension to various categories from the present Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,500 in phases and pledged to increase the income of farmers by 50%.

The LDF’s poll document said pension would be given for homemakers “acknowledging the value of their work”, becoming the latest party in the current poll season to woo women with such a dole after the ruling AIADMK, DMK and actor-politician Kamal Haasan’s MNM in Tamil Nadu and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal. The LDF, however, did not give details of the amount of pension or any criteria for it. The manifesto assured 15,000 startups in coming five years to provide jobs for 100,000 people.

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