West Bengal Assembly Elections 2021: From free tablets to DA hike, Mamata Banerjee announces sops ahead of polls

By: |
December 4, 2020 8:41 PM

The timing of these announcements holds significance as state Assembly elections are around the corner.

Sen has written to Banerjee, thanking her for the support, and said her strong voice is a tremendous source of strength.A total of 3 crore healthworkers from across the country are expected to be vaccinated in the first phase vaccination drive.

Ahead of West Bengal Assembly elections 2021, Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday announced a slew of sops – from free tablets to a hike in dearness allowance (DA). The Trinamool Congress chief said that free tablets will be given to higher secondary students as they are basic requirements in an age of online classes. She said that free tablets will be given to the student of both schools and madrasas and the move will benefit around 9.5 lakh students.

She also said that the RT-PCR test will be done at a cheaper rate in the state. The cost of the test for coronavirus has been brought down to Rs 950 from Rs 1,250. The test cost Rs 2,250 earlier in October. At present, over 3,000 new coronavirus positive cases are being reported daily.

The timing of these announcements holds significance as state Assembly elections are around the corner.

“Because of the coronavirus pandemic, students are forced to attend online classes but many failed to attend it because they cannot afford to buy computers. There are several students who don’t have smartphones either. This is why we have decided to provide tablets to all students of higher secondary schools. There are almost 636 madrasas and 14,000 higher secondary schools,” she said at the Nabanna state secretariat.

Without mentioning a specific timeline by which students will get tablets, the chief minister said that the government will try to distribute them at the earliest after floating tenders. She was speaking during a meeting with West Bengal State Government Employees’ Federation. She also asked West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee to check the possibility of providing tablets to students of other classes too.

On a 3 per cent hike in DA, Mamata Banerjee said that despite the Central government owing Rs 85,000 crore in dues, her government is paying full salary to state employees.

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