Kolkata: Gearing up for the elections to the Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC), the Left Front has brought in a number of young women and men as candidates. Several of these candidates have been drawn from the ‘Red’ volunteers, who have been on the streets, doing relief work after cyclone and pandemic ravaged the state.
The ‘Red’ volunteers are known for working day and night helping in arranging oxygen, blood, even donating blood, running community kitchens etc, during the pandemic and lockdown induced crisis.
Left Front has been the first political front to announce names of its candidates within 24 hours of the announcement of polls on December 19 by the state election commission. The last election for KMC was held in 2015.
This year, out of the 144 seats in KMC that will go to the polls, the Left front is contesting in 127 seats, and in the rest of the seats it will support either Congress or the ‘fittest’ candidate who can defeat TMC and BJP.
Out of the 127 candidates announced by the Left Front, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) will fight in 90 seats, CPI in 13 seats, Revolutionary Socialist Party in seven seats, Forward Bloc in 11 seats, Marxist Forward Bloc in one seat and Revolutionary Communist Party of India in two seats.
In the last poll in 2015, there had been 48 Left Front women candidates, while this year there will be 56 women candidates. Also, ther are17 candidates from the minority community and 50% of those contesting are under 50 years of age.
The ruling TMC also announced its list of candidates in 143 seats, saying that the name of the candidate of 36 no ward would be declared later. In the last poll, TMC had won 126 seats. The ruling party has retained 87 “winning” candidates.
Left Poll Plank
According to the Left front – their poll plank includes the demand for filling up 28,000 vacancies within a year; increase the scope of 100 days work; taking up new projects to increase employment.
It’s other promises include a Banaspati project for the elderly; supplying 24X7 safe drinking water for Kolkata; a green city initiative by starting CNG and electric buses in large numbers.
The Left Front also promises to focus on setting up night shelters for poor workers in every borough area, creche for working women, minimum Rs 327 wage for all 100 days’ workers in the city.
Apart from this, there are promises to set up workers canteen and markets in every ward; improve health centres at the ward level;
health insurance for the third gender among other things.