Politics

BJP Releases 2019 Manifesto – Here's How It Compares to Congress Promises

The prime minister said that since his government had already fulfilled people's "needs", it would now fulfil their "aspirations".

New Delhi: The Bharatiya Janata Party released its manifesto, or “sankalp patra“, for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections on Monday.

The manifesto lists 75 pledges that the party says it will fulfil, if re-elected, by the 75th year of India’s independence – 2022.

“We have decided to move ahead with one mission, one direction for the country,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the manifesto launch. “Probably, this is for the first time, that the manifesto is based on a government that will continue to remain in power.”

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

He said the BJP was still committed to implementing a Uniform Civil Code in the country, and all alternative options will be explored for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya in the most “conducive manner”.

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The saffron party will ensure the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill – which had created widespread anger in the Northeast, including among the BJP’s allies – in parliament with utmost respect to every state’s cultural values, Singh said.

Another controversial promise is to scrap of Articles 370 and 35A of the constitution, which provide special status to Jammu and Kashmir. Political leaders in J&K have urged the Centre not to the revoke the state’s special status.

For rural development, the BJP promised to spend Rs 25 lakh crore 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,” Singh said.

The party also promised short-term farm loans up to Rs 1 lakh at zero interest rate for five years on Kisan credit cards, and said that it will expand coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Yojana to all the farmers in the country. Currently, it targets farmers with landholding less than two hectares.

The BJP manifesto also says it will launch the ‘Nal se Jal’ scheme under the Jal Jivan Mission, which will ensure piped water for every household in the country by 2024.

The manifesto also says that the party is committed to ensuring 33% reservation for women in parliament.

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Party leaders also took the opportunity to talk about the Modi government five-year stint in power. “In five years, the government… has taken 50 major decisions for the betterment of the country. From 2014-19, our government has transformed the country… these have been the golden years,” BJP president Amit Shah said.

“This manifesto has not been prepared with a tukde tukde mindset and an Ivy League mindset,” Union finance minister Arun Jaitley added.

The prime minister said that since his government had already fulfilled people’s “needs”; it would now fulfil their “aspirations”.

“Our aim to change India from a developing country to a developed country. We want to fight poverty rather than sit inside air conditioned rooms. Nationalism is our inspiration and inclusion and good governance is our mantra,” he said.

There are some key differences between the BJP’s manifesto and that of the Congress party, released last week.

Congress BJP
China Will accelerate the construction of
border roads along all borders of India, especially, the India-China border.
Will pursue co-operation through interactions such as Russia-India-China (RIC).
Jobs Will create a new Ministry of Industry, Services and Employment.

Will fill up the 4 lakh vacancies currently in the Central Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises, Judiciary and Parliament before the end of March 2020.

MNREGA 3.0 will expand guaranteed employment from 100 days a year to 150.

One crore low-skilled jobs to be created through MNREGA programmes, through Gram Sabhas and urban local bodies: Water Bodies Restoration Mission and Wasteland Regeneration Mission.

Will expand support to the 22 major ‘Champion Sectors’ identified as the main drivers of Indian economy
‘Entrepreneurial Northeast scheme to provide financial support to MSMEs for employment generation in northeastern states.’
Farmers Separate ‘Kisan budget’.

NYAY, the minimum income guarantee promise, will deliver a cash transfer to guarantee the poorest 20% households a minimum income of Rs 72,000 every year.

Will ‘completely re-design the BJP government’s failed’ Fasal Bima Yojana.

Will aim at doubling farmers’ income by 2022.

Expand the coverage of the Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana to all the farmers in the country.

We will make enrolment of farmers under the Fasal Bima Yojana voluntary.

Goods and Services Tax Will rework GST to make it a ‘single, moderate tax’. Will continue with the simplification of the GST process.
Primary education Will double spending on education from 3% of GDP to 6%. Will establish National Institutes of Teachers’ training.
Elections Will scrap the electoral bond scheme introduced by the BJP. Will explore simultaneous elections to Lok Sabha and all state assemblies.
Civil rights Sedition law will be scrapped and the defamation law will be tweaked to make it a civil offence. No reference to civil-rights laws.
Water New ministry and universal access to potable drinking water. ‘Nal se Jal’ to ensure piped water for every household by 2024.
Immigration/Citizenship Amendment Bill Withdraw the Citizenship Amendment Bill. Will enact the Citizenship Amendment Bill, offering citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs from India’s neighbouring countries.

Will introduce the National Register of Citizens in other parts of the country in a phased manner.

Kashmir Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act and the Disturbed Areas Act in J&K will be reviewed. Will withdraw Article 370.
Healthcare Will expand healthcare budget from 1.5% to 3% of GDP by 2023-24. Will expand Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs).
Housing

Right to Housing for the urban poor and protection from arbitrary eviction.

Slum Upgradation and Transformation Scheme to ensure basic services in informal settlements

Right to Homestead Act to provide a homestead for every household that does not own a home or own land on which a house may be built.

Will ensure pucca houses for families either living in kuchha houses or without access to housing by 2022.

Read the full text of the BJP manifesto below:

BJP manifesto 2019 by The Wire on Scribd