Thiruvananthapuram, April 19 (IANS) The opposition Left Democratic Front on Tuesday released its manifesto for the Kerala assembly elections, promising 25 lakh new jobs, a new department for traditional industries, and a bank for special treatment for those who return from the Middle East.
Releasing the manifesto, LDF convenor Vaikom Viswan said the grouping was aiming for a “new resurgent Kerala” which would be “truly secular and corruption free”.
Kerala goes to the polls on May 16 to elect the 140 members to the state legislative assembly.
“There are 35 policies and 600 suggestions in our manifesto which promises a new Kerala and it includes creation of 2.5 million jobs in IT, tourism and the service sectors,” Viswan said.
He said that if the Left Front comes to power, it would ensure that rubber is declared an “agriculture crop” and would see that more subsidy is given and new schemes launched to provide royalty for paddy cultivation.
In Kerala, rubber cultivation is part of the plantation category till now.
The LDF also promised that 1,000 new start-ups would be provided an initial support of Rs.2 lakh each.
It said a new department will be created for traditional industries and also for women. Gender budgeting would also be introduced.
“In the public distribution system, we will see that (13) basic food items are made available through state-run shops and they will carry the same price for five years,” Viswan said.
To appease the more than five lakh state government employees and an equal number of teachers, the LDF said it will have a re-look at the recently introduced contributory pension scheme in lieu of the statutory pension scheme, which was discontinued by the present Oommen Chandy government.
“A bank would be formed and there would be special treatment for those who return from the Middle East.”
“The government would step in to ensure that individuals are given sand and limestone at controlled rates while building a new home,” the LDF manifesto said.
“A special environment bench will also be set up,” it added.
On the liquor policy, Viswan said the LDF will bring down the availability of liquor in a phased manner and launch massive anti-liquor campaigns.
A new university exclusively for ayurveda would be set up and a ‘Clean Kerala’ campaign would be launched.
The Chandy-led United Democratic Front is scheduled to announce its poll manifesto on Wednesday.