UP Manifesto..Cong promises new law to punish hate mongers

Lucknow: The Congress on Wednesday released its manifesto for Uttar Pradesh Assembly elections, promising a new law on hate crimes to provide enhanced punishment for those creating tension on basis of caste and religion besides offering sops to women, OBCs and minorities.

The 12-page manifesto condemned BJP’s “anti-poor and anti-people policies”, saying, “Divisive forces run rampant with impunity across the country...To combat these forces our two great parties (SP-Cong) have allied.” The Congress also described its coming together with the Samajwadi Party as “an important moment” in the history of country’s politics.

Noting that the BJP’s “agenda of hatred and divisiveness becomes clearer with every election”, the manifesto pledged to enact a new law on hate crimes to provide enhanced punishment to those who create tension on basis of caste, gender and religion.

The party vowed to appoint a police ombudsman to handle cases of police oppression and set up a Criminal Injuries Compensation Board to ensure compensation to victims of criminal oppression.

For safety of women, it said the law passed by former UPA government would be implemented effectively against anyone guilty of atrocities and crimes against women.

It promised to launch Kanya Sanshaktikaran Yojana to ensure Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh for every girl child when she turns 18, besides scholarships to women pursuing higher studies.

The party also vowed to give 50 per cent reservation to women in panchayat elections.