Kolkata, March 22 IANS | 9 months ago

Focusing on roti kapda aur makaan (food, dress and shelter), the Trinamool Congress Saturday released its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha election, promising electoral reforms, transparency and a corruption-free India.

The document said if voted to power, the Trinamool would pursue a policy of the government not acquiring land, 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 media meet at her residence in south Kolkata's Kalighat.

She underscored the urgent need for electoral reforms, and called for state funding of elections as a part of the fight against graft.

Iterating that the system has become corrupt, Banerjee said: "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.

"Many countries have state funded elections. Why can't India have one?" she wondered.

Banerjee 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 called for judicial reforms and administrative reforms.

"We believe that the fundamental values and traditions of India should be honoured. We have to work with the youth," she said.

The manifesto also laid down a loan waiver scheme for poor farmers, and announced special scheme for their children.

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 Law.

The party promised to bring in a beneficial scheme for economically backward sections, and said it would create a "talent bank" creating a lot of employment opportunities.

"We want drinking water for all. Water has to be purified, free from arsenic contamination," said Banerjee.

The Trinamool said the National Highway connectivity needed an upgrade, while the Motor Vehicles Law should be amended.

(Posted on 22-03-2014)

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