Scrapping the Yettinahole project, regulation of Foreign Direction Investment (FDI), strengthening social welfare schemes and comprehensive agriculture policies dominated the civil society discussion on electoral promises expected from political parties in the run-up to the Lok Sabha polls. At a meet on asserting the rights of marginalised classes, organised by the Guruvayanakere-based Nagarika Seva Trust here on Tuesday, the group presented a 26-point demand that “needed to be included in party manifestoes.
The demands included the effective implementation of the Right to Food, Education and Information Acts, rights to tribals and unorganised labour, anti-sea erosion measures, scrapping of the Gundia and Niddodi power plants as well as plans to divert rivers or inter-river links, implementation of the Madhav Gadgil or Kasturi Rangan report, 50 per cent reservation for women in parliament and assemblies, among others.
Terming the “globalisation” policy of the UPA government as a failure, B.M. Kumaraswamy, economist and National Co-convenor of Swadeshi Jagrana Manch, said: “There has been no concerted effort to elevate poverty through employment creation…Instead of policies to aid small scale industries or agriculture and allied industries, the government has support only foreign companies while distributing untenable subsidies to placate the masses.”
He called for a greater regulation of FDI, to ensure that countries working “against” the nation are prohibited from controlling assets here. He said, the impetus given to genetically modified seeds would wipe out native breeds and increase the stranglehold of foreign companies in agriculture.
Though crediting the Land Acquisition Act, 2013 as “being a necessary bill”, he said loopholes in the Act allowed “unrestrained” purchase of agricultural land which threatened the food security of the nation.