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Kerala Assembly elections: LDF to bank on welfare & development, once more

CPPR Research Associate Goutham KA comments in a news article published in The Times of India. He comments “People always prefer tangible benefits. This will be one of the reasons for LDF to go ahead with welfare schemes in an enhanced manner. It seems that the welfare measures undertaken by the government have helped it to reach out to more people”.

LDF is once again banking on its development mantra to woo voters by giving equal thrust to development and welfare in its manifesto. The manifesto will give priority to women empowerment too.

“The manifesto will be comprehensive with all sectors getting their due. The manifesto will be issued on Tuesday,” said CPM’s acting state secretary A Vijayaraghavan. Augmentation of academic and physical infrastructure in higher education sector will be one of the key points, with a slew of projects designed for improving the standards of universities and colleges, sources said.
LDF leadership and chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan had extensive talks with various stakeholders in state before designing the manifesto.
“There will be some mega infrastructure projects and welfare projects introduced by the government will continue. Government has already set up 45,000 smart classrooms. Over six lakh students joined government schools in the past five years. Now, focus will be on improving the standard of higher education. The plan is to convert Kerala into a knowledge hub. There will be proposals in the manifesto for achieving this target,” sources said.

“LDF plans to attract a million students to government schools and academic and infrastructure facilities in government schools will be augmented for the purpose,” sources added.

For youths, LDF will design projects to provide employment to 20 lakh persons once it returns to power. “Students who pass out from schools and colleges should be competent to take up any job. So, there will be some finishing courses for each curriculum. Empowerment of startups will be another objective. There may be an exodus of NRKs once the oil economy starts shrinking. We should be ready to meet such a situation,” sources said.

As welfare activities adopted by the LDF government have clicked, it will continue the same including distribution of food kits. Social welfare pensions will be increased to Rs 2000/month within the next five years in a phased manner.

“People always prefer tangible benefits. This will be one of the reasons for LDF to go ahead with welfare schemes in an enhanced manner. It seems that the welfare measures undertaken by the government have helped it to reach out to more people,” said, associate at Centre for Public Policy Research Goutham KA.

Proposals for strengthening the industrial sector will be another key part. Implementation of Kochi-Coimbatore Industrial Corridor, construction of South-North Corridor will aid infrastructure, industrial development in state.

There will be proposals for rejuvenation of health sector too. More government hospitals will be upgraded to superspecialty hospitals. The government will continue to give free Covid vaccination to everyone.

Construction of Sabarimala airport, completion of national inland waterways, providing nutritional food to school children will be highlighted in the manifesto.

This news article was published in the Times of India on 16 March 2021, click here to read

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