BJP releases manifesto, promises to build Ram temple; PM says nationalism ‘our inspiration’

NEW DELHI: Eyeing to retain power, the BJP made a plethora of poll promises on Monday, including expeditious construction of Ram temple, firmly dealing with terrorism, doubling farmers’ income in the next three years, making India the third-largest economy globally by 2030, and scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the 45-page manifesto titled “Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat” in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and other top leaders of the party, including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, three days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

In the manifesto, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also resolved to annul Article 35A of the Constitution, which says no outsider can own property in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the economic front, the party said it aspired to make India the third-largest economy of the world by 2030, adding, “This implies that we commit to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and USD 10 trillion economy by 2032.”

The party promised that it would continue with the simplification of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) process by engaging in dialogue with all the stakeholders.

It said the purchase of defence equipment would be fast-tracked to strengthen the armed forces, adding that if voted to power, the government led by the party would continue with its approach of zero tolerance towards terrorism.

The security forces would continue to get a free hand in dealing with terrorism, the saffron party said.

Asserting that nationalism was his party’s inspiration and inclusion and good governance its mantra, Modi said the BJP’s manifesto aimed to make India a developed nation by 2047, 100 years after Independence.

The “Sankalp Patra” (document of resolve) of the BJP had 75 definitive, time-bound targets for the country, he said, adding, “We want people to hold us accountable. Hence, we have set out 75 goals to be achieved by 2022.”

The prime minister said the BJP’s manifesto was a “multi-layered and multi-dimensional” document that addressed the expectations and aspirations of all sections of the society.

The saffron party also promised to implement the NRC (National Register of Citizens) in a phased manner in various parts of the country.

About Jammu and Kashmir, it 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 the non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.”

“Let us work towards building a strong and inclusive India, whose citizens are assured of dignity, prosperity, security and opportunity,” Modi wrote in the preface of the manifesto.

In his write-up in the manifesto, 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 the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ujjwala Yojana, the Saubhagya Yojana, demonetisation, GST, surgical strikes and airstrikes.

In his remarks at the event, the BJP chief said Modi had done justice to every section of the society, with cooking gas connections given in the rural areas, housing and affordable healthcare for all and welfare schemes for farmers.

He said the party promised to the people of India a transparent, strong and decisive government and urged the voters to bring it back to power.

“Our ‘Sankalp Patra’ promises to fulfil all expectations of the people,” Shah said.

He added that Modi had provided a decisive government in the last five years and had dared to order surgical strikes and airstrikes on the foundation of terror.

With its strikes on terror, the Modi-led government had sent out a strong message that India could not be taken lightly, the BJP chief said.

Calling the BJP’s manifesto a “vision document”, head of the party’s manifesto committee Rajnath Singh said the Modi government was fully committed on nationalism and zero tolerance towards terrorism.

Jaitley said the manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls starting April 11 was not prepared with a “tukde tukde” mindset, but with a strong nationalistic vision.

The document was rooted in reality, the finance minister added.

“Our new policy, new doctrine of striking terror at its origin has received global recognition,” he told the gathering.

Speaking on the occasion, Swaraj said the BJP was the only party to come up with a “Sankalp Patra” while others came up with “Ghoshna Patra”.

“It is not just announcements that the document has made, but pledges that the party has made to itself to deliver to the people,” the external affairs minister said.

“The country will believe us because we did a lot more than we had promised in 2014,” she added. PTI

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