New Delhi: In a bid to push for a central law on the lines of Maharashtra ordinance against superstition and black magic, associates of activist Narendra Dabholkar, who was the brain behind the measure, on Wednesday met Rahul Gandhi.
"We pressed for two issues. One was for a country-level legislation against black magic and anti-superstition and second was for progress in Dr Narendra Dabholkar`s murder case," said Dabholkar`s daughter Mukta who was accompanied by other activists from Maharashtra Andhashraddha Nirmoolan Samiti (ANS).
She said the Congress Vice President assured them all support for the cause.
"He (Gandhi) was more interested in knowing about the impact of superstition on women. He assured us his support for our cause," said Mukta.
Narendra Dabholkar, who spearheaded the anti-superstition movement in Maharashtra and was founder president of ANS, was killed by unidentified assailants in Pune on August 20. No arrests have been made in the case so far.
After his murder, the Maharashtra government passed the Maharashtra Prevention and Eradication of Human Sacrifices and other inhuman evil and aghori practices, black magic Ordinance, 2013.Dabholkar had drafted the anti-superstition Bill over a decade ago, but it had repeatedly failed to get through the state legislature.
Apart from Rahul Gandhi, the activists also met NCP president Sharad Pawar, Left leaders Prakash and Brinda Karat, Sitaram Yechury and AB Bardhan and former BJP president Nitin Gadkari.
"All assured their support for Maharashtra-like legislation in the country.
"We also met planning commission member Narendra Jadhav and Rajya Sabha MP Bhalchandra Mungekar. Jadhav assured us that he will raise the issue in the National Advisory Council, of which he is a member, and also present the case before chairperson Sonia Gandhi," Mukta added.
ANS executive president Ashok Patil said there has been a demand for a Maharashtra-like legislation from "rationalist groups" in Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana and Goa.
"The group would also be holding dharna in Pune on September 20 to protest the assassination of Dabholkar," Patil added.