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Driven by the belief that economic backwardness has contributed to the rise of fundamentalism in the district, the Communist Party of India (Marxist) has proposed a slew of economic measures in its district manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Prime among the assurances made by CPI(M) candidate B. Madhava is that if he is voted to power, rail connectivity between Bangalore and Mangalore will get a boost. He has promised not only a day train between the two cities but also a cut in the running time, which presently is over 12 hours.
In addition, he has also promised an increase in the number of trains connecting Mangalore and important centres across the country, through the State capital. Given the large number of people in the region who go abroad in search of work, the party has promised to set up a passport office in Mangalore.
The dilapidated condition of roads in the district too will be addressed, the manifesto promises, and flyovers built at important junctions in the city.
Marine activity has also found special mention while promises include development and dredging of the old port, ship connectivity to Lakshadweep and permanent measures to check erosion.
The party will also strive to include Tulu in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution as well as review the Self-Assessment Scheme recently introduced by the Mangalore City Corporation.
The decision to privatise water supply in the city will also be revoked.
Localising the national manifesto released by the party, the district manifesto also promises a special development package that will help cashew, marine products, beedi, tile-making and garment industries of the constituency tide over the present economic crisis.
Further organising and strengthening of the unorganised workforce employed in the beedi, tile and construction industries, along with a raise in the minimum wages, has also been promised, in addition to a national policy on unorganised workers, which is part of the national manifesto.
An entire section titled Souharda Matthu Subhdra Karavali is devoted to the fight against the twin threats of communalism and terrorism.
While speaking of his partys plan to introduce a comprehensive law to combat communal violence, Mr. Madhava said he would work towards reversing the communalisation of the district by providing exemplary punishment to groups and individuals who foment such passions. This action will be taken retrospectively, he said. The party has also decided to work towards greener industries in the region if voted to power. Green, labour-intensive and public sector industries will be given priority, Mr. Madhava said.
He added that the party would change the national land acquisition policy for Special Economic Zones if voted to power. We will also thwart attempts by the Mangalore Special Economic Zone to acquire land from farmers through coercion, he added.