Gujarat Polls: BJP Manifesto Promises Anti-Radicalisation Cell to Eliminate 'Anti-India Forces'

The manifesto demonstrates that it is carefully calibrated to appeal to the Hindutva constituency as well as voters seeking development. 

New Delhi: The election manifesto of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for poll-bound Gujarat promises to create an “anti-radicalisation cell”, the aim of which is to, according to the party, identify and eliminate potential threats as well as sleeper cells of terrorist organisations and anti-India forces.

The manifesto – released in the presence of party president J.P. Nadda in the presence of Gujarat chief minister Bhupendra Patel and state unit chief C.R. Paatil on Saturday, November 26 – clearly demonstrates that it is carefully calibrated to appeal to the Hindutva constituency as well as voters seeking development.

In line with its aggressive Hindutva push, the manifesto promises to enact the ‘Gujarat Recovery of Damages of Public and Private Properties Act’ to recover the cost of damage caused to public and private properties by anti-social elements during riots and protests. Similar laws enacted in other BJP-ruled states have come under fierce criticism for their targeting of protesters, particularly Muslims.

The manifesto also promises to implement the Uniform Civil Code (UCC) should the BJP be voted back to power. On October 29, the Gujarat government had announced that it would form a committee for the implementation of the UCC. The decision was taken in a cabinet meeting that day.

“We will ensure complete implementation of UCC in Gujarat as per recommendations of a state government committee. We will also create an Anti-radicalisation Cell to identify and eliminate potential threats, and sleeper cells of terrorist organisations and anti-India forces,” said Nadda, after releasing the manifesto.

The ruling party also said that it will launch the “Gujarat Olympics Mission” with an aim to host the Olympic games in 2036.

The party’s other promises include the creation of “20 lakh employment opportunities” and take the state’s economy to USD one trillion in the next five years.

The annual cover under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (Ayushman Bharat) being doubled per family from Rs 5 lakh to Rs 10 lakh, and girls getting free education from “KG to PG” (kindergarten to post-graduation) are among other promises in the manifesto.

Other key promises include setting up two seafood parks in south Gujarat and Saurashtra region, free diagnostic service at health centres and approved laboratories for EWS households, setting up three civil hospitals or ‘Medi Cities’, two AIIMS-level institutions, and converting 20,000 government schools into ‘Schools of Excellence’.

The BJP also promised to establish four Gujarat Institute of Technology on the lines of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT).

Talking about farmers, Nadda said the BJP, if voted to power, will spend Rs 10,000 crore for the overall development of APMCs, mandis, sorting and grading units, cold chains, warehouses and processing centres, while Rs 25,000 crore will be spent to strengthen the irrigation network.

“We will build a Devbhumi Dwarka Corridor to establish it as western India’s biggest spiritual centre. It will have the world’s tallest Sri Krishna statue, ED immersive Bhagwat Gita zone and a viewing gallery for the lost city of Dwarka,” the manifesto stated.

The state will see two-phase Assembly polls on December 1 and 5, while the votes will be counted on December 8. It is witnessing a three-cornered fight with the BJP, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in the fray.

(With PTI inputs)