BJP promises anti-conversion law in its manifesto for TN polls

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Chennai, Mar 22 (PTI) The BJP on Monday assured strict laws against religious conversions through force or allurement and an anti-cow slaughter legislation, in addition to a ban on smuggling of cows to other states.

'Right to freedom of religion is not the same as forcible religious conversion. Strict anti-conversion laws will be enacted in the state to criminalise religious conversion by force or allurement,' the manifesto said.

Also, it said the recommendations of Justice Venugopal Commission report would be implemented to prevent communal violence in the state.

A law against religious conversion through force or allurement was enacted by late Chief Minister and AIADMK supremo, J Jayalalithaa in 2002 and it was later repealed following stiff opposition to it.

The Venugopal Commission was appointed in the 1980's following communal riots in Kanyakumari district.

Unveiling the manifesto, BJP leader and Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the Detailed Project Report is ready for the Godavari, Krishna, Pennar and Cauvery interlinking project.

'River connectivity project is a dream for our government and 100 per cent we are going to resolve your (Tamil Nadu's) problem,' he added.

Outlining road construction projects to the tune of about Rs two lakh crore to be implemented within two years in Tamil Nadu, he said already, 'we have started work in Chennai- Bengaluru Green Express highway and four packages are already awarded and six packages are ready.' Gadkari said he has received new design for the Chennai port to Maduravoyal elevated highway, which is a 'double- decker flyover,' The ground level is a six lane road and above it there would be flyovers at two levels, he noted.

Deep sea fishing upto about 100 nautical miles, which would help increase productivity of Tamil Nadu fishermen, is being facilitated.

The government has taken a 'revolutionary' decision, very important for farmers and it was diversification of agriculture towards the energy and power sector, he said.

Presently, the ethanol economy size is Rs 20,000 crore and the government planned to push it to Rs two lakh crore, which would help farmers, including those in Tamil Nadu.

The ethanol rate is Rs 60 per litre a green fuel, cost effective, 'import substitute' and pollution free, he said.

Automobile majors TVS and Bajaj have already launched '100 per cent' bio-ethanol vehicles, he said.

Pointing out that Rs 7 lakh crore worth of crude oil was being imported every year, he said the government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi's leadership has decided that, 'our farmer will make fuel (ethanol) for the country.' Citing research in respect of sodium ion, zinc ion and aluminium ion, he expressed confidence that within two years, the price of fuel run and electric vehicles would be equal.

'Now we have given permission to make bio-ethanol from rice, corn and from any food grain you can make ethanol. This is a great policy from the government and helpful to farmers, particularly, ' he said. PTI VGN APR ADMINISTRATOR APR ADMINISTRATOR