Shah rallies in poll bound Bengal, focuses on fishermen welfare schemes

Our Bureau. Kolkata | Updated on February 18, 2021

The minister promised implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations for all State government employees

Union Home Minister Amit Shah made a host of promises as he chose to woo specific target groups and micro-constituencies in poll-bound West Bengal.

Over the last few rallies, the Minister has been making constituency or area-specific promises by picking up problems or addressing concerns unique to those areas or specific communities.

On Thursday, it was no different. Shah announced welfare schemes for fishermen-folk of the state; an attempt to reach out to protesting para-teachers, and a pitch to court State government employees by promising resolution to multiple grievances.

A fishermen welfare scheme, where each such family involved in the fishery and similar activities will be granted an annual payout of ₹6,000 (on the lines of PM Kisan Samman Nidhi), was promised apart from developing the coastal belt South 24 Parganas (Kolkata’s neighboring district) as a “seafood processing hub”. Apart from promising marketing support to fishermen produce, the Union Home Minister announced the setting up of a task force to ensure “zero casualties” to fishermen-folk who venture into the sea or from natural calamities.

The area of Kakdwip, located in the South 24 Parganas district, where Shah held his rally and outreach programs, is known primarily as a fishing region. The area’s proximity to the sea also means its people are prone to cyclonic storms.

Shah also chose to address recent issues involving the para-teachers of the state. Para teachers are demanding pay parity with regular teachers and have been agitating since December. Recently, some of them had breached a security cordon in an attempt to meet the Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee, at her Kalighat residence.

“I promise we will set up a committee to look into your grievance and find an amicable solution once the BJP is in power here,” he said during a rally in South 24 Paraganas.

Interestingly, the minister promised implementation of 7th Pay Commission recommendations for all State government employees, when in power.

“The economy of Bengal is in a mess. The economic condition is so bad here that government employees do not get salaries as per recommendations of the 7th Pay Commission. The Commission’s recommendations will be followed and implemented if BJP comes to power,” he said.

The state government employees and their families form a sizable chunk of voters here.

Published on February 18, 2021

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