DMK vows to repeal CAA if INDIA bloc voted to power

Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK, a key constituent of the INDIA bloc, in its manifesto released on Wednesday promised to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 if the opposition alliance wins the LS polls.
DMK releases its poll manifesto
DMK releases its poll manifesto

Chennai | Tamil Nadu's ruling DMK, a key constituent of the INDIA bloc, in its manifesto released on Wednesday promised to repeal the Citizenship Amendment Act, 2019 if the opposition alliance wins the LS polls.

Restoration of statehood to Jammu and Kashmir and holding polls there, scrapping the New Education Policy 2020, slashing fuel prices, annulling Article 361 of the Constitution that provides protection to governors from legal action and appointment of Governors following consultation with Chief Minsters, were among the key promises made by the DMK.

The recommendations of the M S Swaminathan committee will be adopted to ensure that MSP for agricultural products "is set at total production cost plus 50 percent," the DMK said.

Also, it announced that if voted to power, INDIA bloc will withdraw the Agnipath scheme and reintroduce "permanent recruitment service" in the Indian Armed forces.

"From now on, population censuses, including caste-wise censuses and censuses concerning people below the poverty line, will be conducted by the Union government once every five years simultaneously." The Congress party's ally in Tamil Nadu said that "new constraints" on States' borrowing capacity, imposed by the union government beyond the limits in each State's FRBM-equivalent Act will be eliminated.

"A recommendation to share cess revenues with states will be made. It will be proposed that the Finance Commission increase the horizontal devolution of tax revenue (to all States together) from 42 percent to 50 percent."

The Union government's financial contributions to states will be based on the income tax and GST collected in those states. Thus, financial contributions will be assured based on the taxes collected within each state. The finance provided to states will be permanently determined based on the 1971 population.

A 33 per cent reservation for women in Parliament and legislative assemblies will be implemented immediately.

"DMK will insist that the Union government enact a law providing menstrual leave to women, emphasizing the journey towards gender equality." Petrol and diesel prices "will be set at Rs 75, Rs 65 (per litre)" and cooking gas cylinder shall be made available at Rs 500 (per cylinder).

"The introduction of the Uniform Civil Code will be strictly prevented" to preserve India's secular nature as stated in the Constitution's preamble.

"The 2019 CAA law will be repealed, and all minorities will be treated equally without any discrimination. The recommendations of the Sachar Committee for the improvement of the lives of Muslims and other minority communities will be implemented."

Also, the manifesto said efforts will be made to implement reservation for minorities at the all-India level, similar to Tamil Nadu. "The financial assistance previously provided to minority educational institutions has now been stopped. Action will be taken to resume this assistance." For "political" reasons, funding from foreign countries to non-governmental organizations (NGOs) has currently been stopped.

"The Foreign Exchange Regulation Act will be properly amended, and measures will be taken to ensure these financial aids continue to reach NGOs without any problems." The proposal of 'One Nation, One Election' will be abandoned, and for the allocation of Lok Sabha seats to states, the current practice, based on the 1971 census will continue.

All "people-unfriendly" laws introduced by the BJP government over the last 10 years will be reviewed immediately by the INDIA alliance government. The "labour-hostile laws" introduced by the BJP government will be "reformed." Through the Employees' Provident Fund (EPF), the Union government will ensure a minimum pension of Rs 5,000/- per month.

The number of working days under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act will be increased from 100 to 150 days. "A wage of Rs 400 will be provided across states/union territories nationwide." Disbanding the current NITI Aayog, set up by the BJP regime and establishing again the Planning Commission to draft plans based on the requests of state governments is another assurance the DMK has made.

"Measures will be taken to reclaim Kachchatheevu to ensure India's security and to protect the welfare of the fishermen." A mandatory "cooling-off period" of 2 years will be introduced for retired judges and secretaries before they could join private companies or political parties, the manifesto said.

Waiving loans and interests for farmers in nationalised and scheduled banks, waiver of educational loans for students, monthly entitlement of Rs 1000 for all women in every state and formation of State Development Council by including Chief Ministers were among the promises made by the DMK.

Exemption for Tamil Nadu from the NEET exam and complete removal of toll booths on national highways, forms part of poll promises of the Dravidian party.

Further, the DMK said amendments will be made to to relevant laws to ensure that state governments, elected by the people, appoint Vice-Chancellors to state-run universities, rather than Governors.

Fifty percent reservation in central government administered higher education institutions for students from the respective states and reintroduction of separate budget for railways were among the promises made.

Establishment of Tamil departments in all universities across India and stopping construction of Mekedatu dam across Cauvery were also promised by the DMK.

"The Vishwakarma Scheme, introduced by the BJP government to encourage caste-based occupations, will be restructured on the basis of social justice."

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