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Ahead of Kerala polls, UDF promises Nyay scheme, no-bill hospitals

The Congress-led UDF on Wednesday brought out the draft manifesto for the Kerala Assembly elections due in April-May. A major highlight is that the UDF, if voted to power, has promised to implement the minimum income scheme Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay), which Congress leader Rahul Gandhi had mooted in the party’s manifesto ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The UDF released the draft ahead of the LDF government presenting the budget on Friday. The state government is expected to fatten the existing money-transfer welfare schemes or bring new measures to woo voters.

Releasing the draft manifesto, Leader of Opposition in the Assembly Ramesh Chennithala said, “The UDF would implement Nyay, which party leader Rahul Gandhi had promised to implement. We would be the first state to implement it. As per the scheme, the poor would get a monthly income of Rs 6,000 in their bank accounts, which would work out to Rs 72,000 in a year. This would go a long way in wiping out poverty from the state.’’

He said the manifesto would be based on four principles — “more government, more investment, more employment and more compassion’’.

Chennithala said all sections of people require the government’s support as the 2018 floods and Covid-19 had had a devastating impact on the state’s economy. “Hence, the UDF promises ‘more government’, which would ensure more supportive measures for the people,” he said.

Among the other promises are setting up “no-bill hospitals” for free treatment and hike in the amounts of student scholarship, wages and welfare pension schemes.The manifesto has promised to increase unemployment allowance and pension for the elderly.

The final manifesto would be prepared after taking opinions from the public. The committee for preparing the manifesto would meet in various districts starting from January 17.

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