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.
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).
Here are the highlights:
“We will ensure that India remains the world’s fastest growing major economy in future while maintaining macrostability. We aspire to be the world’s third largest economy by 2030,” says the manifesto.
The BJP plans to build 60,000 km of National Highways, connect 100% of villages with rural roads, operationalize 100 new airports, modernize 400 railway stations, and cover 50 cities with metro networks.
In the next five years, the party hopes to create a National Warehousing Grid, invest Rs. 25 lakh crore in farm/rural productivity, introduce interest-free Kisan Credit Cards and extend the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi to all farmers.
With a special focus on tourism, the BJP says it will make sure that all UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India have facilities of international standard. We will also identify and promote specific sites of cultural/natural importance as anational priority (while being sensitive to their preservation).
The BJP says it is actively considering the extension National Register of Citizens (NRC)to other states.
The BJP promises to speed up the purchases of outstanding defence related equipments and weapons.
“The Armed Forces will start planning for the resettlement of soldiers three years before their retirement and in accordance with their preferences. This will include provision for skills training, soft skills training, financial support for higher education, for housing and for starting an enterprise.”
A pilot project on the use of technology to strengthen border security (Smart Fencing) was implemented in Dhubri (Assam). We will implement this on all borders, the manifesto states.
The BJP says it is committed to the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries escaping persecution. “We will make all efforts to clarify the issues to the sections of population from the Northeastern states who have expressed apprehensions regarding the legislation. We reiterate our commitment to protect the linguistic, cultural and social identity of the people of Northeast.”
Annulling Article 35A of the Constitution, ensuring the safe return of Kashmiri Pandits to the Valley, and financial assistance for the resettlement of refugees from West Pakistan, PoK and Chhamb, are part of BJP’s promises on Jammu & Kashmir.
The BJP says it is committed to double the farmers’ income by 2022. It also promises a pension scheme for marginal farmers, interest-free Kisan Credit Card loans upto Rs. 1 lakh, and voluntary enrollment of Fasal Bhima Yojana (crop insurance scheme).
A new mission to achieve self-suffciency in oil seeds and other agriproducts, chemical-free organic farming in an additional 20 lakh hectare of hilly, tribal and rainfed areas in the next 5 years, a dedicated e-commerce portal to enhance the availability of organic produce to the doorsteps of consumers, and organic eco-tourism to give additional income to farmers.
By 2024, BJP promises to make capital investment of Rs.100 lakh crore in the infrastructure sector.
Merchant credit card will be created just like Kisan credit card.
A National Urban Mobility Mission will be launched to provide technology based urban mobility solutions to all urban local bodies and increase the use of public transport, enhance walkability and cycle use.
In the next five years, the BJP manifesto says, it will ensure that 50 cities are covered with a strong metro network.
Piped water supply to every household by 2024, conservation of rural water bodies and ground water recharge, a ‘Jal Jivan Mission’, and river-linking project is also part of the manifesto.
The BJP promises to construct 60,000 kms of National Highways in the next five years and double the length of National Highways by 2022. A Bharatmala 2.0 is also planned
Electrification and broad gauge conversion of railway tracks, dedicated freight corridor, wi-fi in all main railway stations by 2022. The manifesto also plans to double the number of operating airports and port capacity in the next five years.
Every Gram Panchayat will be connected with high speed optical fibre network by 2022.
The BJP has promised to set up one Medical College or Post Graduate Medical College in every district, through public or private participation, by 2024.
A single voter list and simultaneous elections for parliamentary, Assembly and local bodies are part of the electoral reforms promised by the BJP.