BJP’s regressive bills will be revised, revoked in Karnataka: Priyank Kharge

    The Congress government will “re-examine” and “withdraw” laws introduced under the previous BJP regime prohibiting cow slaughter and regulating religious conversion, minister Priyank Kharge said on Wednesday. 

    The Congress government will also revisit changes made to school textbooks and celebration of Jayantis (anniversaries), Kharge said. 

    Priyank’s statement is the first assertion by the new Congress government on undoing policy decisions made by the BJP in the past. 

    Also Read | Priyank Kharge elevated to top leadership in Karnataka Congress

    “All [BJP’s] orders, be it textbook revision, anti-slaughter and anti-conversion will be re-examined,” Priyank said. “All Bills and orders that impact the state’s economic progress, prosperity and Kannadigas will be withdrawn.”

    Priyank said the Congress wants to make Karnataka India’s number one state. “We will take steps on this front,” he said.

    The Congress had opposed laws against cow slaughter and religious conversions when they were passed in the legislature. 

    The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Act came into effect in January 2021, imposing a blanket ban on the slaughter of cattle in the state. The only slaughter allowed is of terminally-ill cattle and buffalo aged above 13 years. This forces farmers to either take care of cows even after they become barren or simply abandon them. 

    The Karnataka Protection of Right to Freedom of Religion Act, which seeks to regulate religious conversion, came into effect May 17, 2022. The law prohibits “conversion from one religion to another by misrepresentation, force, undue influence, coercion, allurement or by any fraudulent means”.

    Undoing changes made to school textbooks when the BJP was in power is a manifesto promise of the Congress. Also, the party has promised to scrap NEP. 

    The Congress’ manifesto also states that the party would “repeal anti-farmer laws enacted by the BJP government and withdraw all politically-motivated cases against farmers”. 

    The Siddaramaiah-led Congress government has already put on hold works sanctioned by the BJP government across all departments and parastatal agencies. 

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