Meghalaya: TMC releases Party manifesto, promises financial assistance

Shillong, Jan 24: Ahead of the Meghalaya Assembly election, the Trinamool Congress (TMC) released its election manifesto and 10 pledges on Tuesday and promised to revoke the MoU on the border deal signed between Assam and Meghalaya and a slew of financial packages if the party is voted to power.

TMC national general secretary, Abhishek Banerjee, released the party’s manifesto and promises in the presence of senior party leaders including TMC legislature party leader Mukul Sangma, state party president Charles Pyngrope and vice-president George Lyngdoh, TMC legislature party leader in the Rajya Sabha, Derek O’Brien, TMC state in-charge Manas Bhunia.

So far, the TMC has announced 52 candidates for the February 27 elections to the 60-member Meghalaya Legislative Assembly.

“The Border MoU signed with the Government of Assam to be revoked, and police check posts at all strategic border areas to be set up,” the TMC manifesto pledged.

“If TMC comes to power, the government would pay women of each household, unemployed youth, individuals engaged in the tourism sector, families with children in government-run schools and farmers, monthly and annual financial assistance ranging from Rs. 800 to Rs. 2500,” the manifesto promised.

Before the release of the manifesto, the TMC had launched a couple of flagship programmes — ‘WE Card’, or the Meghalaya Financial Inclusion for Women Empowerment Scheme (MFI WE) and Meghalaya Youth Empowerment (MYE) - - to empower the women and youth of the State.

Buoyed by its populist doleouts in WB, the party has now gone beyond promising “all individuals engaged in the tourism sector” a monthly honorarium of Rs. 2500.

“All individuals engaged in the tourism sector to be identified and their services to be formalized through government registered job cards providing a monthly honorarium of Rs 2500,” the manifesto read under the heading “guarantee of a brighter future.”

Wooing the unemployed youth, the TMC promised a monthly allowance of Rs. 1000 under the Meghalaya Youth Empowerment scheme for unemployed youth between the ages of 21-40 years.

The party moreover promised to create 3 lakh job opportunities in the state within 5 years.

Additionally, one lakh laptops would be provided to all higher secondary and college-going students.

“All farmers of the state would get Rs. 10000 annually under the Farmers’ Assistance Rural Meghalaya scheme. Direct Benefit Transfer of Rs. 1200 annually to all families having their children in government run schools, beside a pension of Rs. 1000 to PWDs single mothers, widows and senior citizens of the state,” the TMC assured.

Further, the TMC also promised a social security scheme for the workers in the unorganized sector dubbed Meghalaya Unorganized Sector Training and Empowerment scheme.

Under it, the 2.8 lakh identified workers would be provided skill training, provided free healthcare, term insurance and provident fund benefits, the manifesto read.

The party has assured a 25 percent increase in grants for healthcare, education, death-marriage assistance and disability pension to workers under the Meghalaya Building and Construction Workers’ Welfare Board.

The TMC has pledged double-digit economic growth and to double the GDP size in the next five years. Assurance to create 1.3 lakh new Micro Small and medium Enterprises in the next five year and resume scientific mining in the state were the other pledges in the manifesto.

Banerjee said the party has “factored in” the expenses involved in dishing out "social assistance" in the cash-strapped state and also provided some figures.

“The state has money, but the (outgoing) government didn't want to spend,” the TMC leader said.  (UNI)