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Congress Manifesto Promises Removal Of 50 Pc Reservation Cap, Caste Census, Legal MSP Guarantee

01:10 PM Apr 05, 2024 IST | 8PM News Desk
congress manifesto promises removal of 50 pc reservation cap  caste census  legal msp guarantee
Congress Manifesto Promises Removal Of 50 Pc Reservation Cap, Caste Census, Legal MSP Guarantee

New Delhi [India] : The Congress party has promised to pass a constitutional amendment to raise the Supreme Court mandated 50 per cent cap on reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST) and Other Backward Classes (OBC), as per its poll manifesto released on Friday.

The party also promised to conduct a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions.

To put a curb on rampant defections, the Congress has promised to amend the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and make defection (leaving the original party on which the MLA or MP was elected) an automatic disqualification of the membership in the Assembly or Parliament.

The Congress has also promised to implement reservation of 10 per cent in jobs and educational institutions for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) for all castes and communities without discrimination.

Stressing on the economic empowerment of minorities, the Congress promised to ensure that banks will provide institutional credit to minorities without discrimination.

"We will ensure that the minorities receive their fair share of opportunities in education, healthcare, public employment, public works contracts, skill development, sports and cultural activities without discrimination," the manifesto said.

Congress will ensure that, like every citizen, minorities have the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws, it addded.

The party has also promised to fill all the backlog vacancies in posts reserved for SC, ST and OBC within a period of one year and also enact a law to provide for reservation in private educational institutions for SC, ST and OBC.

The Congress promised to increase the central government's contribution to pensions for senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities under the National Social Assistance Programme from Rs 200 to Rs 500 per month to Rs 1,000 per month.

The Rajasthan Model of cashless insurance up to Rs 25 lakhs will be adopted for universal healthcare, the Congress said.

To prevent violence against doctors, Congress said that it will pass a law making it an offence to commit acts of violence against healthcare professionals while performing their duties.

The party has also promised to enact a separate legislation for the registration of sports federations or bodies or associations which will ensure full compliance with the Olympic Charter, allow for autonomy and full accountability, and provide recourse for members and sportspersons against discrimination, bias, sexual harassment, abuse, wrongful termination, etc.

Congress will also be providing sports scholarships of Rs 10,000 per month to talented and budding sports persons below the age of 21 once elected to power.

For the LGBTQIA+ community, the Congress said that it would bring a law to recognize civil unions between all couples after wide consultation.

Putting to rest farmer's longstanding demand, the Congress said that it will give a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) announced by the government every year, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission.

For the unemployed youth, the Congress said that it will abolish application fees for government examinations and government posts.

Due to widespread unemployment, as a one-time measure of relief, the amount due including unpaid interest as on March 15, 2024 in respect of all student educational loans will be written off and the banks will be compensated by the government, the Congress said in its manifesto.

In a major boost to women empowerment, the Congress said that it will reserve one-half (50 per cent) of central government jobs for women starting in 2025.

For women, the Congress resolved to launch Mahalakshmi scheme to provide Rs 1 lakh per year to every poor Indian family as an unconditional cash transfer. The poor will be identified among the families in the bottom of the income pyramid, the party said.

The Congress has also promised to remove the sinister provisions of the Constitution (106th) Amendment Act so that one-third reservation for women can be applied to State Assemblies that will be elected in the next round of Assembly elections in 2025. The one-third reservation for women will also be applied to the Lok Sabha that will be elected in 2029, the party said.

The party has also promised an electoral reform in which they have promised to amend the election laws to combine the efficiency of the electronic voting machine (EVM) and the transparency of the ballot paper.

Congress said that voting will be through the EVM but the voter will be able to hold and deposit the machine-generated voting slip into the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) unit. The electronic vote tally will be matched against the VVPAT slip tally, the party said.

The Congress said that they do not intend to interfere with personal choices of food and dress, to love and marry, and to travel and reside in any part of India. "All laws and rules that interfere unreasonably with personal freedoms will be repealed," it stressed.

To combat fake news and paid news, the Congress said that it will amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to empower the Council to deal with the this menace.

The Congress has set the target to double the country's GDP in the next 10 years.

The party will also promised to replace the GST laws that exists at present with GST 2.0.

The new GST regime will be based on the universally accepted principle that GST shall be a single, moderate rate (with a few exceptions) that will not burden the poor, the Congress said.

The Congress has guaranteed the Right to Apprenticeship Act in which one-year apprenticeship with a private or a public sector company will be provided to every diploma holder or college graduate below the age of 25.

On foreign policy, the party has promised to fix its relations with the Maldives and will work to restore the status quo ante on our borders with China and to ensure that areas, where both armies patrolled in the past, are again accessible to the country's soldiers. "We will take the necessary steps to adjust our policy towards China until this is achieved," it added.

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