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In Kerala, BJP promises steps against ‘religious terror’, ‘love jihad’ and law for Sabarimala

The manifesto, which was released by Union minister Prakash Javadekar here on Wednesday, also promised to increase the monthly welfare pension from Rs 1,600 to Rs 3,000 and five acres of land to each landless SC/ST family in Kerala. It said steps will be taken to reclaim the “encroached land” of temples.

Written by Shaju Philip | Thiruvananthapuram |
Updated: March 25, 2021 3:43:52 pm
The manifesto, which was released by Union minister Prakash Javadekar here on Wednesday, also promised to increase the monthly welfare pension from Rs 1,600 to Rs 3,000 and five acres of land to each landless SC/ST family in Kerala. (File)

A “terrorism-free” Kerala, law against “love jihad”, freeing up temple administration from the control of political parties, legislation to protect traditions at the Sabarimala temple, and a ban on forced conversions are among the highlights of the manifesto released by the BJP-led NDA for the state Assembly elections.

Unlike the LDF and UDF manifestoes, the NDA lays focus on steps to tackle “religious terrorism”, including a promise to prevent foreign remittance to terrorists, boosting the security system to prevent infiltration of terrorists via sea route, and special teams to probe murders executed by “religious terrorists”. It promised to put in place a system to prevent extremist activities “under the guise of religious and cultural educational institutions”. Steps will be taken to prevent youths from joining extremism and a “strong enlightenment drive” will be held, it said.

The manifesto, which was released by Union minister Prakash Javadekar here on Wednesday, also promised to increase the monthly welfare pension from Rs 1,600 to Rs 3,000 and five acres of land to each landless SC/ST family in Kerala. It said steps will be taken to reclaim the “encroached land” of temples.

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It has promised to “constitutionally overhaul” the Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board — promoted by CPI(M) — and subject it to the CAG’s review. It said the cooperative sector would be strengthened and there will be no “over dependence” on lottery and liquor as major sources of revenue. It promised to stop all “backdoor appointments” in government services, cut the administrative cost by 30 per cent and abolish pension for the personal staff of ministers.

The NDA manifesto promises to invite experts from various walks of life to make Kerala a land of excellence, and states that minimum government and maximum governance will be its stand on administration. It also promises to improve the state’s infrastructure sector by launching several road and rail projects.

Minimum wages would be introduced in all sectors and jobs would be ensured for one person from a family, the party has promised. All families will get housing and drinking water, it said. Free laptops for high school students and a special monthly aid of Rs 5,000 for bed-ridden BPL families are among other welfare schemes part of the manifesto.

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