New law against hate crimes, call for alliance part of Congress resolution | Latest News India - Hindustan Times
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New law against hate crimes, call for alliance part of Congress resolution

Feb 26, 2023 04:24 AM IST

With a series of assembly polls this year and the Lok Sabha election in 2024, the resolution announced a new vision document for the national election and “the widest possible consensus” with all like-minded political parties to take up the issue of EVMs with the Election Commission of India

Raipur: A promise of new laws against hate crimes and religious discrimination, a national election fund instead of the “fatally flawed and fully corrupt” electoral bonds, and steps to tighten the anti-defection law to stop mass exodus of lawmakers, apart from the clarion call to “go all out to identify, mobilize and align like-minded secular forces” capped the political resolution of the 85th plenary of the Congress party.

Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party chief Mallikarjun Kharge at the 85th Plenary Session of Congress, in Raipur on Friday. (ANI)(HT_PRINT)
Congress Parliamentary Party chairperson Sonia Gandhi and party chief Mallikarjun Kharge at the 85th Plenary Session of Congress, in Raipur on Friday. (ANI)(HT_PRINT)

Also read: Sense of uncertainty as Congress’ plenary session begins in Raipur amid ED raids

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With a series of assembly polls this year and the Lok Sabha election in 2024, the resolution announced a new vision document for the national election and “the widest possible consensus” with all like-minded political parties to take up the issue of EVMs with the Election Commission of India. “And if they do not respond, then go to Court,” the resolution said.

The political resolution pitched for a National Election Fund to which all may contribute and during elections, “funds will be allocated to political parties using a transparent and fair criterion laid down by law,” the resolution said. The electoral bonds have been a major bone of contention and have primarily helped the Bharatiya Janata Party mop up funds through donations.

Most of the suggestions in the resolution will be later incorporated in the manifesto of the Congress, a Congress leader said, declining to be named.

Along with these planks, the resolution adopted in the plenary on Saturday vowed to protect the independence of the judiciary and media and initiate a “comprehensive review of all laws, rules and regulations to repeal those that are outdated, unjust, or unreasonably restrict the freedoms of the people”.

The resolution spoke of an anti- discrimination law aimed to prohibit discrimination on the basis of “religion, caste, gender or language in the supply of goods and services”. Similarly, the principal opposition party promised to “pass a new law to prevent and punish hate crimes”.

Pushing for alliances ahead of the assembly polls and the Lok Sabha election, the Congress’s political resolution said: “Unity of secular and socialist forces will be the hallmark of the future of the Congress party. Congress should go all out to identify, mobilize and align like-minded secular forces. We should include secular regional forces who agree with our ideology. There is an urgent need for a united opposition to take on the NDA (National Democratic Alliance) on common ideological grounds. Emergence of any third force will provide advantage to the BJP/NDA.”

It also said that wherever the Congress is the main opposition party, “we should be a responsible and responsive opposition. While campaigning, focus should be on the respective local issues” and the “well-crafted and thoroughly deliberated Udaipur Nav Sankalp will be taken up on a mission mode”.

The Congress demanded a robust personal data protection law to end government surveillance of citizens, assured reintroduction and passage of the Grievance Redressal Bill, 2011, to provide for timely grievance redressal.

The resolution asked all India Congress committee (AICC) to implement all the resolutions, especially those of the organization in letter and spirit within an immediate time frame.

Also read: Congress’ resolution proposes new economic performance metric

On anti-defection, the draft resolution said: “The Congress pioneered the Constitutional Amendment on anti-defection, and took several measures during the UPA-2 government to strengthen it. Since 2014, the BJP has engineered mass defections, purchased legislators and thus toppled democratically elected government after government. The Congress will amend the Constitution to eliminate such practices.”

The Congress resolution described the current regime as a “disastrous situation of fear, hate and intimidation,” alleged the BJP and its government has sought to demolish the national ethos and distorted all three arms of government and the media to protect their interests over the people’s interests. “Every institution has been subverted, undermined and threatened,” the resolution said. “Democracy is on the verge of being expunged from India.”

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