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Left Front Releases Poll Manifesto in Bengal, Says CAA Won't Be Implemented

Left party activists march towards Brigade Parade Ground to join Left-Congress and Indian Secular Front joint rally, ahead of the state Assembly poll, in Kolkata on Sunday (PTI)

Left party activists march towards Brigade Parade Ground to join Left-Congress and Indian Secular Front joint rally, ahead of the state Assembly poll, in Kolkata on Sunday (PTI)

The CPI(M)-led front pledged to adhere to the principles of secularism and ensure the safety of linguistic and religious minorities, including Muslims.

The Left Front on Saturday unveiled its manifesto for the West Bengal assembly polls, promising to restore the rule of law in the state, and stressing that the Citizenship Amendment Act won’t be implemented under any circumstance. The CPI(M)-led front pledged to adhere to the principles of secularism and ensure the safety of linguistic and religious minorities, including Muslims.

The manifesto, released by Left Front Chairman Biman Bose at the CPI(M) state headquarters, said that ”the BJP government at the Centre has attacked the secular and pluralistic fabric of the country. Religion has been used as a yardstick for determining citizenship. The rights of minorities are gradually declining.” The Left parties also accused the Trinamool Congress government in the state of ”playing communal card”. When ”the TMC is having a secret understanding with the BJP”, the Left Front ”would strictly follow the principles of secularism and not interfere in one’s religious practice,” the manifesto said.

”CAA, NRC shall not be implemented in the state,” it said. The employment scenario in the state is ”abysmal” under the TMC rule, with ”no investment” in the industrial sector and ”corruption in the government’s recruitment process”, the Left parties alleged.

”We will accord priority in generating employment in industry, agriculture, cooperative sectors and small and medium enterprises,” it said. Specific and effective policies will also be formulated to build large scale industries, the 16-page manifesto said.

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It identified the information technology, biotechnology, agri-based industries as the thrust areas, and emphasised on the need to set up units in steel, electronics, automobile, petrochemicals, power, cement, garments and leather sectors to create large scale employment. ”Land acquisition for industries in extreme cases” will be done by building consensus with all stakeholders, it said.

Criticising the new farm laws of the Centre, the manifesto vowed to ensure that farmers get minimum support price for their produce. The Left parties also promised that tests for recruitment of teachers at primary, secondary and higher secondary schools will be regularised.

The 100-day employment programme will be extended from rural to urban areas. Work and wages will be increased to 150 days, they said. The CPI(M)-led front has formed an alliance with the Congress and the newly-floated ISF for the upcoming assembly polls.

Elections to the 294 assembly seats in West Bengal will be held between March 27 and April 29. Votes will be counted on May 2.

first published:March 21, 2021, 07:14 IST