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By promising an array of panels, BJP goes against its stated stand

Puja Mehra
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BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressing the gathering after releasing the party's manifesto in New Delhi.— Photo: Ramesh Sharma
BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi addressing the gathering after releasing the party's manifesto in New Delhi.— Photo: Ramesh Sharma

The Bharatiya Janata Party may have attacked the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government on several occasions for “governing through committees and Groups of Ministers,” but the party’s election manifesto, released on Monday, promises formation of 24 similar decision-making bodies if it comes to power at the Centre.

These include a variety of commissions, task forces, boards and authorities. One commission is to address the grievances of “veterans” or ex-servicemen and another for appointing judges. Then there are an inter-faith consultative mechanism, a national youth advisory council, and a task force to revive micro, small and medium enterprises.

UGC to be replaced

The University Grants Commission will be replaced by a higher education commission, and a national commission on education will be formed, the manifesto says.

On several occasions, the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi, had taken on the UPA for forming commissions and such other bodies as a governance mechanism. In March 2013, addressing the party’s national conclave in Delhi, Mr. Modi said: “The BJP is for a mission, the Congress is for commission.”

No mention of disinvestment

The BJP manifesto does not touch upon disinvestment at all; however, it does promise the setting up of a new public sector enterprise: the organic farming and fertilizer corporation of India.


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