Politicians rush to woo voters in poll-bound states

Gold loan waivers to wage hike: Politicians rush to woo voters in poll-bound Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Kerala

The Election Commission of India announced polling dates for the five poll-bound states and a union territory in the country on Friday

Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan (L), West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu CM Edappadi K Palaniswami. Credit: DH Collage

As the Assembly polls in Kerala, West Bengal, Assam and Tamil Nadu are around the corner, political parties are pulling out all stops to attract voters and win their confidence. From offering gold loan waivers to launching various welfare schemes, political parties are upping their game in the race to garner more votes.

Here is a look at some of the latest sops announced by political parties in poll-bound states:

Gold loan waiver

A short while before the Election Commission announced the dates for the Assembly polls in the state, Chief Minister E Palaniswami declared that gold loans against up to six sovereigns given by cooperative banks to farmers and the poor will be waived. The chief minister said this move would help the poor reclaim their gold which they had pledged during the Covid-19 lockdown.

The Tamil Nadu Assembly also passed a Bill to provide 10.5 per cent reservation for the Vanniyar community, minutes before the EC announced the dates.

Leader of the Opposition M K Stalin of the DMK has also vowed to visit every constituency and collect grievances in a box. He has promised to address each grievance he receives within the first 100 days of forming his government. In a rebuttal, the ruling AIADMK government has set up a helpline number for the same.

Read | Bengal Assembly elections: A Modi vs Mamata battle on the cards

Daily wage hike 

As the political battle is heating up in the eastern state, TMC chief and CM Mamata Banerjee announced yesterday a hike in the wages of daily-wage labourers under the West Bengal Urban Employment Scheme.

The CM tweeted that up to 56,600 workers in the state will benefit from this move.

The BJP, which is working hard to shed its ‘outsider’ tag and wrest power from the Mamata government, has promised 33 per cent reservation for women in government jobs if it comes to power.

Read | Is 8 phases for Bengal polls Modi, Shah’s idea? CM Mamata Banerjee questions ECI

In the party’s Poriborton Yatra in the poll-bound state, Union Minister Amit Shah also said the BJP will work towards the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission.

Shah also promised to set up an integrated fishery zone in the state and a seafood processing hub. 

Withdrawal of cases

The Left Democratic Front government led by CM Pinarayi Vijayan announced last week its decision to withdraw cases registered in the Sabrimala agitation and the anti-CAA protests that have plagued the state in the past years. Close to 2,000 cases were registered during 2018-19.

The ruling party has been contemplating how best to address the issue of Sabrimala as polls approach while Opposition parties in the state including the Congress have taken a stand on the issue. The UDF had announced recently that it would withdraw the cases if it came to power.

The BJP, on the other hand, has promised to bring legislation like the UP ‘Love Jihad’ law in the state, looking to win over the Hindu and Christian communities of the state.

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