TMC Promises Judicial Reforms, Transparency of Defence Deals
West Bengal Chief Minister and TMC chief Mamata Banerjee on Saturday promised state funding to political parties to contest elections, transparency in defence ministry, electoral and judicial reforms, and amendment of various laws, particularly the one related to acquisition of land. Releasing her party’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections at her residence, she said the first priority of a TMC-led government at the Centre would be electoral reforms. “There is rampant corruption in the political system. How are political parties getting so much of funds? Even parties which are only six-month-old are having thousands of crores. We want state funding to political parties during the elections.
“If it can happen in European countries and even Japan, why cannot it be implemented in India? Why do we have to ask money from the people during the election campaign?” she asked.
Mamata also alleged that some political parties were organising “paid lunches and dinners” and called them “hypocrites with double standards.”
“I have never seen this phenomenon in my life. They have no right to be a political party. For paid lunches and dinners, they even charged `25 lakh per person. Is this politics? They are committing fraud. I have always been in favour of state funding for contesting elections,” she said.
The TMC chief also alleged that during elections black money was used to purchase votes and after the next government was formed, it would bring back the black money stashed away in foreign banks.
She said new mechanism would be eveloved to tackle this menace, as foreign countries were involved in it.
Mamata also accused the Congress-led UPA-II government of spreading falsehood through the media. “Newspaper owners are being threatened. I do not blame them. They will be subjected to income tax raids, if they didn’t listen to the diktats.”
She said there was a need for e-tendering in defence sector and giving priority to indigenous production, as scams in the Defence Ministry have soiled the country’s honour.
Regarding the acquisition of farm lands for industry, she said: “The present law regarding acquisition of land for the industry is draconian. We are not against the industry but against forcible acquisition from farmers. It will be one of my first priorities. There will be no forcible takeover of land.”
Mamata said judicial reforms were also part of her manifesto, as speedy justice was needed since there were lakhs of cases pending in courts.