Wednesday, May 29, 2024

NCP(SP) releases manifesto; addresses caste census, J&K statehood, CAA and farmers’ welfare

The Nationalist Congress Party (Sharadchandra Pawar) on Thursday released its election manifesto, backing the caste census and promising a separate commission for farmers’ welfare, right to apprenticeship, 50 per cent reservation for women in jobs.

The Sharad Pawar-led party, which is a part of the INDIA alliance, said it supports full statehood for Jammu and Kashmir and rejects the idea of ‘one nation, one election’.

The manifesto titled “Shapatnama” promises that the NCP (SP) will ‘review’ and propose changes to the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA), National Register for Citizens (NRC), Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act (UAPA) and other laws “conflicting” with the constitutional values.

It also asserts the party’s commitment to the empowerment of state and local governments, regulating power distribution and enforcing constitutional amendments to strengthen federalism.

In addition, it also favours caste census, repealing of the Agnipath scheme, safety audit for women and strengthening cyber laws related to them.

The NCP (SP) has ensured its endorsement to the five “nyay” (guarantees) on issues pertaining to farmers, youth, women, labourers and caste census, mentioned in the Congress (INC) manifesto.

The manifesto was unveiled in a press conference, in the presence of NCP (SP) chief and former Union agriculture minister Sharad Pawar.

To a question on Union Home Minister Amit Shah seeking to know what Pawar has contributed to the agriculture sector, the NCP (SP) chief responded, “I don’t wish to react to the remarks of those who have negligible knowledge of the sector. He should first speak on what his government has done in the last ten years.”.

“We will demand a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservations. We will ban contract labour in government sectors and legally protect the contract workers’ benefits,” Maharashtra NCP(SP) president Jayant Patil said addressing the press conference.

Patil further added that if the party gets a chance to be in power at the Centre, it would give the Goods and Services Tax (GST) a “human face”.

“LPG cylinder prices will be kept at Rs 500 and if necessary, will be subsidised by the government. Petrol, diesel tax will be restructured,” he said.

The manifesto also contains strategic changes related to foreign policy.

“We prioritise judicial reforms, ensuring access to justice and inclusive representation within the judiciary,” the NCP (SP) manifesto said.

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