Accusing the Left Democratic Front (LDF) government of weakening decentralisation, the United Democratic Front (UDF) has proposed an alternative mode of governance that they promise to implement through its manifesto for the local body polls.
The 19-page document, prepared by a sub-committee chaired by Communist Marxist Party (CMP) leader C.P. John was formally launched by Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala who presented the first copy to Kerala Pradesh Congress Committee Mullappally Ramachandran on Saturday.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Chennithala accused the government of suffocating local self-government institutions (LSGIs) by denying them adequate funds and delaying those eligible through the ‘Q’ Billing system. In addition to diverting funds meant for local bodies, the government usurped their decision-making powers. Besides, the government has failed to implement the recommendations of the Fifth State Finance Commission.
Accusing the government of replacing the Panchayati Raj system with ‘Consultancy and Commission Raj’, the UDF alleged that the LDF reversed or scuttled several acclaimed governance models that had been introduced by the previous government. These included the total quality management system that was intended to improve quality of service delivery. The coalition claimed that the implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Scheme was severely hit during the last five years.
Among the slew of promises it has made through its manifesto that raises the slogan of ‘Rejuvenated Villages, Awakening Cities’, the Congress-led coalition has assured to increase Plan fund allocation. The UDF promises steps to find a permanent solution to the garbage woes of municipalities and municipal Corporations. While picking holes in the implementation of LIFE Mission, the UDF promises steps to provide houses for all sections.
The COVID-19 pandemic also finds mention among the proposed programmes. While the UDF has assured to ensure adequate supply of the much-awaited vaccine as soon as it is made available, they have also pledged measures to bridge the digital divide that has come to the fore amid online classes.