BJP releases its manifesto, promises to pass Citizenship Amendment Bill
The BJP released its manifesto, titled "Sankalp Patra", for the upcoming polls on Monday. The document was released in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, party president Amit Shah, and union minister Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, and Rajnath Singh. Most of the parties, including Congress, Samajwadi Party, and RJD, released theirs days ago. Here's what BJP promised this time.
In much-awaited manifesto, BJP repeated its stand on Article 370, which gives special rights to Jammu and Kashmir. "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," the manifesto read.
Further, BJP's stand remained unchanged on the sensitive Ram Mandir issue. The party said a grand temple should be constructed on the disputed land in Ayodhya. The saffron party also promised to pass the contentious Citizenship (Amendment) Bill in both houses of the Parliament. However, it added identities of states won't be compromised. BJP also reiterated its commitment towards the Uniform Civil Code.
BJP also focused on rural areas in the manifesto. It said rural development is important for the country. The party said farmers will be able to take short-term agriculture loans up to Rs. 1 lakh at a 0% interest rate for 1-5 years on the condition of prompt repayment of the principal amount. The party promised to double farmers' income by 2024.
BJP Manifesto: Women's welfare and development will be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and the BJP is committed to 33% reservation in parliament and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment— ANI (@ANI) April 8, 2019
Talking about the manifesto, Amit Shah said India has emerged as a big power in the last five years. He claimed BJP removed corruption from the country. Shah said expectations of citizens increased after PM Modi came to power. "This government has set an example of transparency," added Shah. He went on to say that previous governments demoralized the country.
"I want to remind you about 2014 polls. That time we brought you a vision of how the country would be between 2014 to 2019. The journey from 2014 to 2019 will be written in golden words in the history of Indian development," Shah said.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the manifesto respects the sentiments of 130 crore Indians. He called it a visionary document which will help India take concrete steps towards a better future. He said development in the country came to a standstill before 2014 but NDA, under the leadership of PM Modi, worked relentlessly. "We thought about national security," said Singh.
Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh at party's election manifesto release: With all our promises, made in this manifesto, we are taking a step towards building a 'New India.' #LokSabhaElections2019 pic.twitter.com/Yp4mnIXrvd— ANI (@ANI) April 8, 2019
Speaking on the manifesto, Finance Minister Jaitley said it was not inspired by "tukde tukde" gang. He congratulated Singh for focusing on all sections of the society in the manifesto. He slammed those who couldn't deliver "for decades" and sought support for a government which "kept its promise". "Our idea of nipping terrorism in its bud was well-received globally," said Jaitley.
In 2014, BJP had released its manifesto on the first day of the nine-phased polls. Last time, the saffron party focused on corruption and unemployment in its manifesto. BJP had said it would ensure bureaucracy is not pulled down by "maladministration, scams and policy paralysis". The party had also promised to restore credibility in government and remove bottlenecks to ensure seamless delivery of schemes.