A legislation to protect customs of Sabarimala hill temple and a special law to contain ‘love jihad’ feature in the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance’s manifesto, released by Union environment minister Prakash Javadekar, for the April 6 assembly elections in Kerala.
The manifesto also promises free laptops for students and free cooking gas cylinders to economically weaker sections.
Releasing the NDA’s manifesto- which is full of sops, just like in the manifesto released by the ruling Left Democratic Front and opposition Congress-led United Democratic Front- the Union minister termed it “progressive, dynamic and development oriented.”
“Unlike our opponents we only promise that we can do. We will take Kerala out of stagnation,” he said.
Some of the promises made in the manifesto include free housing, drinking water and power connections to all. It also promises six free cooking gas cylinders to economically weaker sections and free laptops to school students. A pension of ₹5,000 per month is promised to the family if the main bread-earner falls sick or is unable to work.
The manifesto also promises free title deeds of land to the landless among SC and ST communities.
In addition to this, a special law will be introduced on the lines of BJP-ruled states in north India to contain ‘love jihad’, an alleged practice of enticing Hindu girls feigning love and later converting to Islam.
The term was first coined in the state after 21 people from North Kerala disappeared in 2016 and later believed to have joined the Islamic State in Syria. Among the missing were three women and two men who were converts from other religions.
The manifesto added that a special legislation will be brought in to protect the age-old customs of the Sabarimala temple, which witnessed unrest three years ago when the government tried to implement the Supreme Court judgment of removing the bar on women of child-bearing age from entering the temple.