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Left Front manifesto calls for secular democratic government in Bengal

97 Days ago

Kolkata, March 20 (IANS) West Bengal's Left Front, which has gone for seat adjustment with the Congress, on Sunday released its election manifesto calling for the formation of a secular democratic government and urging the people to defeat the ruling Trinamool Congress to restore democracy in the state.

"Our aim is to restore democracy and rule of law. We will ensure freedom of expression for all. The police and the administration will have to work by following the multi-party democratic tradition," the 16-page manifesto promised.

Left Front chairman Biman Bose told the media: "To achieve this, we have to defeat the Trinamool government. Towards that end, we want the people to unite and form a democratic secular government in the state."

The Left Front resolved to free all political prisoners, and withdrawal of false cases, besides ensuring that police and the administration work neutrally for securing a society free of fear by strictly dealing with anti-socials.

It promised to ensure that statutory bodies like the Women's Commission, Lokayukta, state Election Commission, state Human Rights Commission functioned with full authority.

The rights of the civil society would also be safeguarded, the document said.

It stressed pursuing a secular policy, and promised that the government would not be partial to any religious community or interfere in religious practices.

"We will take a neutral stand on all religions. We will take a strong stand against all types of communalism and extremism," it said, promising to safeguard the security of all religious minorities including Muslims.

The Left Front said "communal forces like the BJP" have to be weakened and towards that end, the Trinamool has to be defeated as it had been hand-in-glove with the BJP some time back.

Dwelling at length on 'corruption' during the Trinamool regime, the manifesto said the top party leadership including members of parliament and ministers were involved in the chit fund scams.

"Entrepreneurs and industrialists leaving the state due to extortion demands is a regular feature," it said.

The Left Front alleged that there was a flight of industry out of the state during the five-year rule of the Trinamool, when the state has failed to draw investment.

It promised to ensure a universal public distribution system and stop deaths due to hunger.

"Workers of closed industries will be paid a monthly allowance of Rs.2,500 and given subsidised ration."

Regarding land acquisition for industries, which had emerged as a contentious issue during the last years of the Left Front government (2006-2011), the manifesto said it would take "cautious steps" and sincere efforts would be initiated to build up understanding between all stakeholders in the identified areas.

"Families giving away their land will be given profitable value. Initiatives will be taken to give training and employment to one member of the affected families."

For the education system, the allocation will be 20 percent of the annual budget. The economically poor sections will be given subsidised power, the manifesto added. (IANS)

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