Special law on hate crime, urban job scheme to figure in CMP

The Asian Age.  | Sreeparna Chakrabarty

India, All India

A perusal of the draft shows that the Opposition parties would not shy away from contentious issues.

Apart from a new law NUEGA, which seeks to provide employment within a town or city limits to all those who demand it, the document also calls for strengthening of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which was a flagship scheme of the UPA government. (Representational image)

New Delhi: A special law on reparations for lynching and hate crimes on an “atonement” model, which includes a public apology and monetary compensation, reversing the burden of proof in NRC in Assam to state authorities from the individual and a National Urban Employment Guarantee Act (NUEGA) on the lines of the MGNREGA would be among the many proposals that would be considered to be included in the common minimum programme (CMP) of the Opposition parties.

Also for consideration to be included in the CMP would be a special plan for education and health called “Nine is Mine,” which makes for compulsory allocation of six per cent of the GDP to education and three per cent to health.

Leaders of Opposition parties, including Congress president Rahul Gandhi, had announced after a late night meeting on February 13 that a common minimum programme would be thrashed out before the upcoming general elections — the draft of which would be provided by Congress and discussed among the parties in the national capital on February 26-27.

Top Opposition sources said the draft CMP would be based on a document, “People’s Progressive Agenda for India”, prepared by the “Samruddha Bharat Foundation”.

Around 12 parties, including the Congress, RJD, CPI, CPIM, NCP, AAP, and DMK among others, had discussed the draft at a meeting organised by the Samruddha Bharat Foundation on February 12 in the national capital.

The draft agenda, a copy of which is available with this newspaper, also proposes repealing of two laws — the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority Act, 2015 (CAMPA) and the Mines and Minerals Development and Regulation Act and rework the Transg-ender Persons (Protection of Rights Bill), 2016. It also proposes to create a special tribunal to ensure that lands of Scheduled Tribes are restored.

A perusal of the draft shows that the Opposition parties would not shy away from contentious issues.

On NRC, which has been a burning issue in the Northeast along with the Citizenship Bill, the draft agenda says that “unlike the Foreigner’s Act, the Illegal Migrants Determi-nation by Tribunal Act, applicable only to Assam, has so far put the burden of proof on the alleged undocumented migrant to prove citizenship based on documents to establish their pre-1971 roots”.

Apart from a new law NUEGA, which seeks to provide employment within a town or city limits to all those who demand it, the document also calls for strengthening of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA), which was a flagship scheme of the UPA government.

It terms the much-hyped smart cities mission of the NDA government as a “disaster” for urban India, which has led to an “exclusionary” development model and calls for the whole mission to be channelled through local elected governments following public consultations and discussions.

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