West Bengal: BJP releases manifesto, promises 33 pc reservation for women, revamp Jute industry

The BJP has unveiled its manifesto for the West Bengal elections, promising to build a “Sonar Bangla” by providing employment, strengthening social security schemes, and vowing to clear the implementation of the Citizenship Amendment Act in the first cabinet meeting of the new government.

Union home minister Amit Shah released the manifesto titled 'Sankalp Patra for a Sonar Bangla' at an event in Kolkata on Sunday evening. Unveiling the “Sonar Bangla Sankalpa Patra” at EZCC in Salt Lake, Union Home Minister Amit Shah said that BJP will ensure the implementation of the Ayushman Bharat scheme and the PM-Kisan programme in the state, besides giving at least one job per family.

The document promised that 33% of all govt jobs will be reserved for women. "We will start Common Eligibility Test for all state government jobs to keep a check on corruption," Shah said.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)’s 62-page manifesto, which has Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s face on its cover, appears to have pulled out all the stops in order to pose a serious challenge to West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee on six specific counts.

BJP's election manifesto for West Bengal has promised a Rs 1500 crore package for the ailing jute sector whose workers and farmers are seen as a vote bank for the party.

Some 3 lakh workers mostly Hindi speaking, toil in Bengal's jute mills and are seen as a potential vote bank by the saffron party. The Jute sector also supports some 35 lakh farmers spread over 18 out of 23 major districts.

''We will revamp the jute industry with a SPV (special purpose vehicle) having a corpus of Rs 1500 crore. The amount will be used for financial restructuring of jute mills, modernizing the infrastructure of mills, production linked incentives and marketing centers,'' the manifesto said.

The manifesto also promises to continue with rules on compulsorily using jute packaging for foodgrains and sugar. The TMC manifesto on the other hand offers sops for all farmers and not specifically for the jute sector.

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