The proposals in the manifesto — released jointly by LDF convenor A Vijayaraghavan, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran and other LDF leaders — are a mix of welfare schemes that proved a success in the past five years and measures to lure back the youth and fishermen who took to agitations recently.
The document, however, is silent on controversial issues like Sabarimala.
The 900-point manifesto promises to increase the social security pension to various categories from Rs 1,600 to Rs 2,500 in phases and income of farmers by 50%.
Various parties in Tamil Nadu and Trinamool Congress in West Bengal had promised pension to women this time.
Package promised for coastal areas
More than 50% voters are women and the pension scheme is aimed at luring them,” said Goutham K A, associate, Centre for Public Policy Research.
Besides promising increased spending on health and education, it pledged modernised transport and urban infrastructure, industrial corridors, free housing for the poor, improved public services, better child and elderly care and creation of a knowledge-based world-class economy.
The package for coastal area development comes against the backdrop of the controversy over an agreement with a US-based company, EMCC International, for deep-sea fishing.
“The package for the coastal belt and the assurance that the rights of fishing equipment, marine fisheries wealth and first sale will be vested with the fishermen are targeted at coastal people and fishermen. It is an attempt to pacify them; there are around 45 coastal constituencies in the state,” Goutham said.
The manifesto promises to bring in legislation to prevent foreign trawlers from operating from harbours in the state. A comprehensive law for aquarium reforms will also be introduced.
Special rules will be framed for the government, quasi-government, cooperative and public sector undertakings and appointments to these institutions will be made through the PSC, the manifesto said.
The base price of rubber will be increased to Rs 250 while a Rs 10,000-crore transgrid project has been promised to ensure no power shortage till 2040, it said.
Asked why the manifesto is silent on believers’ issues, CPI state secretary Kanam Rajendran said the LDF, being a secular front, can’t intervene in any religious matters.