Tripura: Congress releases election manifesto, calls BJP vision document ‘jhootha’, promises to introduce direct funding for ADC, better education, healthcare, governance
From Our Correspondent
AGARTALA, February 12, 2018
After CPIM and BJP, the Congress party on Monday released its poll manifesto for forthcoming assembly election in Tripura.
Addressing a press conference, Congress veteran and Puduchery Chief Minister V. Narayanswamy today said the Congress party would work for development, peace, employment, healthcare and unity of Tripura.
In an oblique reference to demands of ‘Tipraland’ floated by Indigenous Peoples Front of Tripura (IPFT), a poll ally of the BJP in Tripura, the Congress leader said they were totally against any form of division of the small northeastern state.
The Congress manifesto claimed ‘swarnajug’ or golden days that the ruling CPIM claim to have achieved in Tripura is a failure. It also termed BJP’s call for ‘acche din’ deceit and urged electors to vote for Congress for sustained development and greater opportunities in education and employment for the youths.
Congress has long been the prime opposition party of Tripura till six MLAs led by former opposition leader Sudip Roy Barman deserted the party with his supporters to join Trinamul Congress in 2016. The team further shifted camps to BJP in June last year.
The BJP has attracted a large number of defectors from Congress, Trinamul Congress and other regional parties in the past two years. Asked if he felt Congress would be able to pull out victory against the left and BJP, Narayanswamy said his party would exert all its might to take on both parties together.
He put up strong defense for Congress over clandestine links with CPIM as alleged by BJP national president Amit Shah earlier today, Narayanswamy today said BJP was a total non-entity in Tripura till few years back.
“They had around 1 percent votes. We are the ones who have battled communists for years. In Kerala, we are still doing that. Where is BJP there and the rest of the country when it comes to the left?” he shot.
BJP is trying to contest Tripura polls with ‘money and muscle power’, the veteran Congress leader said and claimed BJP’s ‘vision document’, which the party is projecting as its manifesto, was full of ‘falsehood’. “Yeh poora jhootha hain (These are all lies)”, he said.
He said Congress too is promising to introduce 7th Pay Commission if the party is voted to power in Tripura. “BJP governments at Assam, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Haryana didn’t implement 7th PC awards. And they are promising dreams here”, Narayanswamy said.
He said Congress party alone offered true development to the country and said BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government at the centre was content with renaming projects and schemes from UPA regime.
Tripura Royal scion and working president of Tripura Pradesh Congress ‘Maharaja’ Pradyot Kishore Manikya Debbarma said Congress had demanded ‘direct funding from centre’ for Tripura Tribal Areas Autonomous District Council (TTAADC) areas, which would effectively change the face of development for indigenous communities living in it.
He attacked BJP for making tall promises including alleviating the Tripura ADC into an autonomous state council and ensuring direct funding from centre and said none of these core issues that were issued to attract indigenous people were actually maintained in BJP’s ‘vision document’.
If policies of the Left Front government were not enough punishment, BJP entered the state and made a pitch for communal and divisive politics which is its hallmark, the Congress manifesto said. It promises better education by increasing English medium schools, Women’s colleges in all 8 districts, computer training and Internet connectivity, online classes, adequate healthcare personnel in all eight districts, mental health services and a Universal Health Insurance Scheme like Mega Health Insurance Scheme (MHIS). The health insurance scheme, which is Congress’s reply to BJP’s poll assurance of universal health insurance, assures to provide insurance upto Rs. 2.5 lakh for upto 5 members of each family. Senior citizens would be provided with additional insurance of Rs. 50 thousand.
The Congress manifesto also says that minimum wages of unorganized labour would be raised to Rs. 300 a day apart from policies for promoting young entrepreneurs, government job opportunities to overage candidates, commencement of air traffic services at Kamalpur and Kailashahar in Unakoti district, 190 Km from here, exploring possibilities of water transport routes and the Agartala Airport would be renamed after maharaja Bir Bikram Kishore Manikya Bahadur, the last reigning king of Tripura’s Manikya dynasty.