In its manifesto for the May 10 assembly elections in Karnataka, the Congress promised to ban Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the Sangh-affiliated Vishwa Hindu Parishad.
“The Congress Party is committed to take firm and decisive action against individuals and organisations spreading hatred amongst communities on grounds of caste or religion. We believe that law and Constitution is sacrosanct and can not be violated by individuals and Organisations like Bajrang Dal, PFI or others promoting enmity or hatred, whether among majority or minority communities,” read the manifesto, called ‘Sarva Janangada Shanthiya Thota’ (peaceful garden of all communities).
The grand old party promised to repeal, within 1 year of coming to power, “all unjust laws and other anti-people laws” passed by the BJP government in the southern state.
The Congress party promised that it will restore the 4 per cent reservation of the Muslim community, which was scrapped by the saffron party ahead of the May 10 elections. The party, in its manifesto, also promised to increase reservations for the Scheduled Castes (SCs) from 15 per cent to 17 per cent, and increase the reservations for the politically influential communities such as the Lingayats and the Vokkaligas, and to further pursue their inclusion in the 9th Schedule of the Constitution.
The party also said that if it is voted to power, it will form a State Education Policy rejecting the National Education Policy (NEP).
Congress restated five guarantees, including Gruha Jyothi, which provides 200 units of free electricity to all, Gruha Lakshmi, which offers Rs 2,000 monthly to every woman who heads a family, Anna Bhagya, which gives 10 kg of food grains of their choice (among rice, ragi, jowar, millet) to each member of a BPL family, Yuva Nidhi, which grants Rs 3,000 every month for two years to unemployed graduates and Rs 1,500 every month as an allowance for unemployed diploma holders, and Shakti, which enables free travel for all women throughout the state in regular KSRTC/BMTC buses.
As a “sixth guarantee”, Congress said the promises will be implemented in the first cabinet meeting on the first day of government formation.
AICC president and Rajya Sabha Leader of Opposition Mallikarjuna Kharge, AICC general secretary Randeep Singh Surjewala, KPCC president DK Shivakumar, Assembly opposition leader Siddaramaiah, Legislative Council opposition leader BK Hariprasad and manifesto committee chairman G Parameshwar were part of the manifesto launch at Shangharila Hotel in Bangalore.