With the aim of achieving another stint in power, the BJP on Monday made a string of promises, including expeditious construction of a Ram temple, a firm hand in dealing with terrorism and doubling farmers income in the next three years.
The party also promised to make India the third largest economy globally by 2030 and scrap Article 370 that gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir if it comes back to power.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the manifesto, titled ‘Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat’ (Determined India, Empowered India), in the presence of party chief Amit Shah and other top leaders, including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley.
The ‘Sankalp Patra’ comes three days before the first of the seven-phase Lok Sabha elections begins (April 11).
In the manifesto, the BJP also resolved to annul Article 35A of the Constitution that says no outsider can own property in Jammu and Kashmir.
On the economic front, the BJP said it aspired to make India the third largest economy of the world by 2030. “This implies that we commit to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and USD 10 trillion economy by 2032,” it said.
The party promised that it will continue with the simplification of the GST process by engaging in dialogue with all stakeholders.
The party said purchase of defence equipment will be fast-tracked to strengthen the armed forces and it will continue with its approach of zero tolerance towards terrorism if voted to power.
Security forces will continue to get a free hand to deal with terrorism, the document stated.
The party said it will implement NRC (National Register of Citizens) in a phased manner in various parts of the country.
About Jammu and Kashmir, the BJP said, “We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370. We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.”
Mr. Modi wrote in the preface of the manifesto, “Let us work towards building a strong and inclusive India, whose citizens are assured of dignity, prosperity, security and opportunity.”
In his write-up in the manifesto, Mr. Shah said, “In its tenure of five years, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to take many decisions which are historic and has ushered in a comprehensive and fundamental transformation.”
He also referred to various schemes and decisions of the government, including Swachh Bharat Mission, Ujjawala Yojana, Saubhagya Yojana, demonetisation, GST, September 2016 surgical strikes and the February last Balakot air strike.
'Transparent, strong and decisive government'
Speaking at the event to launch the manifesto, Mr. Shah said the party promises the countrymen a transparent, strong and decisive government and urged voters to bring the party back to power.
Mr. Modi had provided a decisive government in the last five years and dared to carry out a surgical strike and an air strike on the foundation of terror. With the strikes on terror, the Modi-led government had sent out the strong message that India cannot be taken lightly, he said.
India’s development from 2014 to 2019 would be written in golden words in history.
Head of the party’s manifesto committee Rajnath Singh called the manifesto a “vision document”. The Union government was fully committed to nationalism and zero tolerance towards terrorism. “Our ‘Sankalp Patra’ is a vision document that lists the expectations of 130 crore Indians,” he said.
The BJP was committed to implementing a uniform civil code in the country and all alternative options would be explored for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh in the most conducive manner. The party would ensure the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament with utmost respect to every State’s cultural values, he said.
Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the party was committed to annulling Article 35 A of the Constitution, which provided special rights and privileges to the people of Jammu and Kashmir. The provision was discriminatory against non-permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
When the country was at the cusp of history, making most of all its lost opportunities, did it require a fragile government or a decisive one, he asked. The previous governments only gave slogans, but the Modi-led administration gave resources to the poor, he claimed.
Highlights of the manifesto:
The manifesto says:
Will implement uniform civil code
Will support the construction of a Ram temple in the disputed site in Ayodhya. “All alternative options will be explored for its construction in a most conducive manner.”
Will ensure the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Parliament with utmost respect to every State’s cultural values.
A sum of Rs 25 lakh crore will be spent on rural development in the next five years.
Will give Rs 6,000 yearly income support to farmers and pension to small and marginal farmers above 60 years of age.
Will establish 75 new medical colleges and post-graduate colleges.
Will strengthen the strike capabilities of the armed forces by giving them modern equipment.
Committed to annulling Article 35 A of Constitution as the provision is ''discriminatory against non-permanent residents of J&K.''
A National Register for Citizens (NRC)-like exercise will be conducted in States in a phased manner.