Politics News

God Bless Goa! Chidambaram on TMC’s Pre-poll Promise; Mamata’s Party Says It’s ‘Perfectly Doable’

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!”

The TMC, however, asserted that such a cash transfer was “perfectly doable”. The Mamata Banerjee-led party also targeted a senior state Congress leader in connection with an alleged scam and said “moral science comes before maths”.

On Saturday, TMC leader Mahua Moitra 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.

Later, Mahua Moitra, the TMC’s Goa desk in-charge, tweeted, Yes sir @PChidambaram_IN Rs 5000 to 3.5 lakh Goan households is equal to Rs 2100 crores is 6-8% of total budget which is perfectly doable. Good economics in depressed post covid scenario requires putting cash in hands and liquidity into system.”

Following Chidambaram’s tweet, the TMC also targeted senior Congress leader and former Goa chief minister Digambar Kamat in connection with the alleged illegal mining in the coastal state.

Taking to Twitter, TMC leader Kiran Kandolkar, who recently quit the Goa Forward Party, said, “A 35,000 Cr scam by @INCGoa ex-CM @digambarkamat loot yet to be recovered! And 2,000 Cr per year for all Goan families hurts the Congress. Moral science comes before Maths!” As per the Justice M B Shah (retd) Commission, illegal mining to the tune of Rs 35,000 crore had taken place in Goa from 2005 to 2012, when the Supreme Court banned the extraction of iron ore in the coastal state.

Kamat was the CM of Goa from 2007 to 2012. 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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