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HindustanTimes Fri,29 Aug 2014

‘Centre should adopt anti-superstition law’

Ketaki Ghoge, Hindustan Times  Mumbai, September 07, 2013
First Published: 02:19 IST(7/9/2013) | Last Updated: 11:04 IST(7/9/2013)

Days after the anti-superstition ordinance was issued in the state, the Maharashtra Congress unit is looking to have it replicated across the country.

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Over the last week, senior Congressmen have been brainstorming on recommendations for the party’s 2014 poll manifesto and have decided to root for this law at the Centre.

“Other than various welfare schemes, we though this progressive law should be taken up by the Centre and included in the manifesto. It will be a unique contribution by the state,” said Ratnakar Mahajan, state Congress spokesman and member of the manifesto committee.

The first-of-its-kind law, passed shortly after the murder of anti-superstition crusader Narendra Dabholkar, seeks to curb exploitation of people through superstitions and inhuman practices in the name of religion.

Neighbouring states such as Rajasthan have already expressed interest in the law. Other suggestions in the manifesto include replicating a successful state health department scheme – Blood on Call – across the country, linking certain important cities by bullet trains in the state, and a national slum policy. 

The blood on call scheme envisages provision of blood units within half an hour of a call being made to a helpline number. It was introduced in the state this year.

The party also wants bullet trains to connect Nagpur and Mumbai, and Nasik and Aurangabad. The Congress Central leadership has asked all states to give recommendations for the 2014 party manifesto by the end of this month.

State Congress president Manikrao Thakre has presided over at least 3 brainstorming meetings with senior leaders and ministers. Suggestions are to be finalised in the next meeting, with chief minister Prithviraj Chavan.

“Deliberations are on for giving recommendations for the manifesto. A meeting is slated with the CM, after which they will be finalised,” said party spokesperson Sachin Sawant.


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