Ministry of happiness, focus on NYAY: UDF releases manifesto for Kerala polls

  • | Saturday | 20th March, 2021

Kozhikode: The Congress-led United Democratic Alliance (UDF) released its manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections in Kerala. The UDF is looking to unseat the Left Democratic Front (LDF) from power this time and has accordingly promised a number of things in its manifesto.

Kozhikode: The Congress-led United Democratic Alliance (UDF) released its manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections in Kerala. The UDF is looking to unseat the Left Democratic Front (LDF) from power this time and has accordingly promised a number of things in its manifesto.

Congress MP Shashi Tharoor, who was present at the release of the document, said that the manifesto refocuses on the party`s NYAY scheme that was launched nationally to guarantee a minimum income to every household and a part of that is to guarantee ?2,000 to every full-time housewife in this country as a token of support for the woman having sacrificed her income to look after the family.

"It is an integrated manifesto. We are sending a signal to investors that we are open to businesses. There will be an Investor Protection Act. We will ban hartals and forced closures," said Tharoor. The UDF manifesto also promises to create a ministry of happiness in Kerala if the Congress-led front comes to power. The LDF released its manifesto on Friday.

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The election for the 140-member Kerala assembly will be held on April 6. The counting of votes will take place on May 2. The elections are being held amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country. It is to be noted that after a steady decline in the daily infection cases Kerala is among the seven states witnessing a resurgence of the virus. The LDF and the UDF have held power in the state alternately over the last four decades. In the 2016 Kerala assembly election, the LDF won after gaining a majority of 91 out of 140 seats.

This time, both the fronts face a challenge from the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) which is hoping to raise its vote share and form a government in the southern state. It has also inducted former Delhi Metro chief E Sreedharan, a well-known engineer, to boost its prospects.

So far, the party has been able to consolidate its base in Nemom, a little known constituency in state capital Thiruvananthapuram. This is the only Assembly seat the BJP won in the last state elections and its leaders describe Nemom as “Kerala’s Gujarat”, suggesting it is the BJP’s impregnable fortress. The Congress and the Left are desperate to prove them wrong.

If the LDF indeed wins the election this time, it will create history by retaining the power for two consecutive terms. Kerala is not the only state where political power changes hands regularly. Tamil Nadu broke this tradition in 2016 when led by Jayalalithaa, the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK) stormed to a consecutive victory.


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