KL This Week: Welfare Pension for 2 Months Sanctioned Ahead of Onam Festival for Beneficiaries
Image by R Prakash.
NewsClick brings you a round-up of the important developments from Kerala in the past week – including the joint programmes held by trade unions ahead of the August 9 mass gathering against the anti-worker policies of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government at the Centre, protest by the Left Democratic Front (LDF) against continuing violence in Manipur, inauguration of India's first digital science park and the distribution of welfare pension for two months to beneficiaries ahead of the Onam festival.
TRADE UNIONS’ CAMPAIGN AGAINST THE CENTRE’S POLICIES
Ahead of the joint protest on Save India Day – to be observed on August 9 – the trade unions in Kerala have completed the vehicle jathas and street corner meetings against the policies of the BJP-led Union government. The day August 9 has been selected in remembrance of the launch of the ‘Quit India’ movement back in 1942.
The Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Indian National Trade Union Council (INTUC), and other trade unions held vehicle jathas across the districts to highlight the anti-worker policies pursued by the BJP government.
The joint platform of CTUs has been opposing the codification of labour laws, dilution of workers’ rights under the guise of ‘Ease of Doing Business’, attempts to abolish permanent jobs, increasing contractualisation of work, and sale of public sector undertakings (PSUs).
The vehicle jathas in each district covered all the Assembly constituencies and culminated with a dharna in district centres.
LDF’S PROTEST AGAINST MANIPUR VIOLENCE
The constituent parties of the ruling LDF held silent protests, street corner meetings, and seminars against the continuing violence in Manipur. The LDF leaders condemned the inaction of the Union and state government of Manipur and their inability to protect minorities and women from the rage of the weapon-carrying mobs across the state.
LDF rally held in Ernakulam demanding an end to the violence in Manipur. (Courtesy: twitter.com/CPIMKerala)
In Ernakulam district, the LDF held a rally with black ribbons on their mouths, condemning the silence of prime minister Narendra Modi on the violence extending for more than 90 days. The rally questioned if the silence of the PM and the state government was an endorsement of the perpetrators of violence. Dr T M Thomas Isaac, former finance minister, and P Rajeev, minister for industries, were among the LDF leaders who participated in the rally.
DIGITAL SCIENCE PARK INAUGURATED
Three months after the foundation was laid, the government of Kerala inaugurated the nation’s first digital science park in Thiruvananthapuram. CM Pinarayi Vijayan, while inaugurating phase 1 of the park, informed the attendees that the state is preparing itself to ensure infrastructure for IT-based scientific industries.
“Kerala, which pioneered India's first IT park three decades ago, has once again set an exemplary model by founding the country's 1st Digital Science Park,” Vijayan tweeted after inaugurating the park.
The park will facilitate collaboration and knowledge transfer among research institutions, companies, and universities. The foundation was laid by PM Modi in April earlier this year.
PENSION FOR ONAM FESTIVAL
The LDF-led government has granted approval for the disbursal of two months’ pension ahead of Onam, the harvest festival of Kerala. The 60 lakh beneficiaries will receive the pension of Rs 3,200 before the festival. The Department of Finance has allocated Rs 1,550 crore for social security pensions and Rs 212 crore for welfare board pensions.
The pension distribution will begin in the second week of the month and is expected to be completed before August 23 – six days ahead of Onam. Despite severe economic restrictions including the limiting of borrowing limits, the LDF government has vowed to continue the distribution of welfare pensions for the needy.
RSS, VHP LEADERS MEET NSS LEADERSHIP
A group of Sangh Parivar outfits including Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), Hindu Aikya Vedi and Sabarinaka Karma Samiti met the leaders of the Nair Service Society (NSS) over the myth vs science controversy in the state. The fundamentalist organisations have been accused of attempting to gain mileage over the dispute.
The general secretary of the NSS, Sukumaran Nair met the leaders of the Hindu outfits at the office of the organisation. The NSS was the first non-political outfit to hold protests against the speaker A N Shamsheer over his comments about myths being propagated as science.
The NSS general secretary, however, claimed that the organisations extended support for their struggle to protect the faith of Hindus and no political discussions were held.
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