Extend reservation to converts: AIADMK manifesto

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Chennai, March 19 (IANS) In a move to woo the minorities, Tamil Nadu’s ruling AIADMK on Tuesday said it will urge the Centre to pass laws to extend job quotas to those who covert to Christianity and Islam.

Releasing the party’s Lok Sabha election manifesto here, Deputy Chief Minister O. Panneerselvam said the party would urge the central government to pass a new law whereby those who have converted to Christianity and Islam can retain their caste and claim reservation benefits after conversion.

The BJP is part of the AIADMK-led alliance in Tamil Nadu.

The AIADMK said it will urge the Centre to accept the recommendation of the Justice Sachar Committee to treat the Christian converted Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (STs), Backward Classes (BCs) and Most Backward Classes (MBC) as well as Muslim-converted SCs, STs, BCs and MBCs as regular SCs, STs, BCs and MBCs and provide them with all the concessions now provided for these regular categories.

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Pannerselvam said the party would also urge the Centre to bring a new law enabling reservation of jobs in the private sector.

The party said it will also urge the central government to introduce the Hovercraft Scheme for improving coastal tourism and the economic status of coastal people.

The AIADMK has promised to urge the Centre to fulfill the following:

– provision of monthly income of Rs 1,500 to the poor with no questions asked;

– providing skill development training on the lines imparted by the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority of Philippines;

– linking of the Cauvery-Godavari rivers;

– reduce rate of interest for farm/service sector loans and relax norms;

– bring in people-friendly norms for fixing oil prices and taking away that power from the oil marketing companies;

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– strengthen the Coast Guard and enable Tamil fishermen to fish in Indian territorial waters without fear;

– establish a National commission for Fishermen Welfare in order to improve the social and economic status of fisher community;

– establish a Regional Branch of the Supreme Court in Chennai for the benefit of the people of Tamil Nadu and South Indian states;

– declaration of Cauvery delta region as a protected agricultural zone;

– implementation of various drinking water and irrigation schemes;

– waiver of education loans;

– restructuring scheme for farm loans;

– release of the seven prisoners undergoing life sentence in the former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi assassination case;

– not to bring in a Uniform Civil Code;

– urge the Centre to devolve 60 per cent of its tax revenue to the States based on the 1971 census;

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– release, at the earliest, the huge arrears amounting to Rs 9,988 crore due to the Tamil Nadu government;

– declare Tamil an official court language and

– give statehood for Puducherry

–IANS

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