TMC manifesto pledges plan panel revival, note ban probe
The TMC chief called for doubling the MNREGA scheme to 200 days a year and doubling the rate of payment from ₹191 per day to ₹382.
The Trinamool Congress (TMC) will pitch for a probe into demonetisation by a Supreme Court judge, a review of the Goods and Services Tax and a revival of the Planning Commission when the common minimum programme will be drafted by the opposition parties, TMC supremo and West Bengal chief minister, Mamata Banerjee, said on Wednesday, while announcing her party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.
“The Planning Commission was dismantled and was replaced by the NITI Aayog, where nothing but one-sided lectures are delivered. We will push for revival of the Planning Commission,” said Mamata Banerjee.
The National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government has replaced the Planning Commission, which prepared five-year-plans for the country, approved annual state plans and held discussions with the finance ministry on the budget of the ministers, with Niti Aayog on January 1, 2015. The Niti Aayog was to be a think tank of the Central government and had to bring synergy between the Centre and the states for the implementation of schemes.
The TMC chief also called for doubling the MNREGA scheme to 200 days a year and doubling the rate of payment from ₹191/day to ₹382/day. She also said they will push for seeking a probe by a retired Supreme Court judge into demonetisation and also called other parties to support her demand for revisiting GST.
On the national issues in the manifesto, Banerjee said, “We are not imposing anything on our grand alliance partners. This is our party’s stand. We will discuss these issue with the other parties for the common minimum programme on which the alliance partners are working”.
Her political rivals in Bengal ridiculed her.
“She [Mamata] knows that they [TMC] will not be in a position to form a government at the Centre, and there will be no Federal Front. Therefore, she is making big promises to save her party’s seats in Bengal,” said Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Bengal unit chief, Dilip Ghosh.
“Of the country’s 543 Lok Sabha constituencies, only 42 are in West Bengal. How can the chief of a party that is focused on 42 seats comment on the national level scenario?” said Biman Bose, chairman of Left Front.
Maidul Islam, who teaches political science at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences in Kolkata, pointed out that this manifesto promises too little for Bengal and focuses on the national level. “Apart from putting pressure on the BJP using issues of demonetisation, GST and revival of the Planning Commission, she has basically proposed to take the Bengal experiment on inclusive development to the national scale,” Islam said, adding that the manifesto showed that the TMC was keen to project itself as a national party.
The manifesto was released in five languages: Bengali, English, Hindi, Nepali and Ol Chiki.