God bless Goa! Chidambaram on TMC’s pre-poll promise

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Panaji: A day after the Trinamool Congress (TMC) promised a direct cash transfer scheme for women in Goa if it is voted to power, senior Congress leader P Chidambaram took a dig at the Mamata Banerjee-led party, saying “God bless Goa!”

TMC leader Mahua Moitra on Saturday said under the scheme titled Griha Laxmi, Rs 5,000 would be transferred to a woman of every household per month as guaranteed income support to counter inflation once her party comes to power in the coastal state.

Responding to the announcement, Chidambaram, who is the Congress’ Goa poll in-charge, in a tweet on Sunday said, Here is a math that deserves the Nobel Prize in Economics. A monthly grant of Rs. 5000 to a woman in 3.5 lakh households in Goa will cost Rs 175 crore a month. That is Rs 2100 crore a year.

It is a small sum for the State of Goa that had an outstanding debt of Rs. 23,473 crore at the end of March 2020. God bless Goa! Or should it be God save Goa?, the former Union finance minister said in another tweet.

The TMC has announced that it would contest all the 40 seats in the state Assembly elections due early next year.

Earlier, the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP), which will also contest the Goa polls, had promised that it would increase the remuneration provided to women in the coastal state under the state-sponsored scheme and also promised financial assistance to women not covered under it, if it is voted to power.

On Friday, Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra promised 30 per cent quota in jobs for women in Goa if her party comes to power in the state.

She had claimed that the ruling BJP’s ideology was “anti-women”, and asked people to check the track-record of the new parties coming from “outside” to the state.

In the 2017 Goa Assembly polls, the Congress had emerged as the single largest party by winning 17 seats, but failed to form government. The BJP had then tied-up with some regional outfits and independents to form government.

The Congress now has only three legislators in the 40-member House.

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