Securing the nation against “internal and external aggression”, discarding a law for special rights to residents of Jammu and Kashmir and increasing farmer’s income by next year headlined the manifesto of BJP, launched on Monday by PM Modi for April-May National Elections starting April 11.
“Nationalism is our inspiration, empowerment of weaker sections is our vision and good governance is our mantra,” said the Prime Minister, adding that it would take “India on one mission, one direction”.
The BJP manifesto themed “Sankalp Bharat- Shashakt Bharat” or “determined India, empowered India”, also “reiterated” the promise of a Ram temple at Ayodhya and guarantee to “explore all options”.
At the party’s headquarters in Delhi, PM Modi was quoted saying, “I thank all of you for the cooperation in these five years. It is natural that every party will bring manifesto for the elections. But Rajnath ji has spent two-three months for our manifesto. Probably, this is the first time that the manifesto is based on a government that will continue to remain in power,” after BJP National Chief Amit Shah, Union Ministers Arun Jaitley, Rajnath Singh, and Sushma Swaraj upon some of the main contents of the newly-launched manifesto.
“We have largely been successful in checking corruption and increasing accountability. Technology has also played a big part,” said the Prime Minister, adding that “we have addressed a number of issues to bridge the gap between north and south India.”
Mr. Jaitley said, “It lays the roadmap of a continuing government,” adding that it was not any set of promises proposed by “the tukde tukde gang or even the Ivy League mindset”.
It also promises a “zero tolerance” approach to terrorism and said that the party will “continue to give security forces a free hand”. The main focus of PM Modi and other BJP leaders’ election campaign is the deadly terror attack in J&K’s Pulwama, in which more than 40 CRPF jawans have lost their lives and India’s retaliatory air strikes at Pakistan’s Balakot to target JeM’s biggest terror training camp.
The party’s manifesto also claims that the government will speed up the purchasing of outstanding defence equipment. The farmer’s maximum income scheme will be made available to all farmers- it is only restricted to those owning land of up to 2 hectares.
BJP further promises a pucca house for every family living without a home or in temporary houses by 2022.
Earlier, Mr. Shah said that India had become a superpower as of the policies of the NDA government in the past 5-year tenure, which also included “50 big steps”.
“It is an election of aspiration,” said the BJP National Chief, describing 2014 to 2019 as the golden period of India under PM Modi.
The construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya at the earliest, after exploring all possibilities within the framework of the constitution, is also among the promises, but Mr. Singh has referred to it as a “reiteration” of BJP’s standing.