The ruling party, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is scheduled to release its manifesto on April 8, almost a week after the leading Opposition party released theirs. Since the release of the Congress manifesto, BJP has been very critical of the Opposition party's promises. As such, what kind of agenda can be expected from the ruling party? To get an idea of the same, here's a look back at the Narendra Modi-helmed BJP's 2014 manifesto.
In their 2014 manifesto, BJP stated that their goal for the next five years was 'Ek Bharat, Shrestha Bharat' (One India, Great India), the path to which was 'Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas'.
The BJP manifesto stated that some of the key imminent issues that they would address are:
- Price Rise: They said that they would stop hoarding and black marketing as well as use technology to disseminate real time data to farmers.
- Employment: BJP said they would develop high-impact domains like labour-intensive manufacturing, and tourism. Transforming Employment Exchanges into Career Centres was another promise.
- Corruption: BJP manifesto stated that they would establish a system that would eliminate the scope for corruption. e-Governance, system-based policy-driven governance, task force to track and bring down black money and engage with foreign governments to facilitate information sharing on black money were also some of the other promises made to keep corruption in check.
- Policy paralysis: They stated that they would "reignite the engine of the government" and encourage bureaucracy to take on decades of maladministration, scams and policy paralysis.
- Poor delivery: Remove bottlenecks and missing links to ensure seamless delivery of policies, scale and speed to implement futuristic vision and build "institutions for today and tomorrow" were also promised by the BJP.
- Credibility crisis: They promised to restore the trust and credibility in the government by building a chain of accountability into the system.
The BJP proposed to reform the system in the following manner:
- By putting India and its national interest first. "It is complete India; without exclusion, without exception," the manifesto stated.
- With an open government, accountable administration, people-centric policies, mandatory performance review and social and environment audit for all government programmes, and finally, with minimum government and maximum governance.
- Through e-Governance such as Digital India, broadband in every village, promotion of IT in Indian languages and digitisation of all government work and records.
- Through administrative, judicial, police and electoral reforms.
The BJP also promised to bridge the gap between sections of the society in the following manner:
- By uplifting the poorest of the country, identifying 100 of the most backward districts and bringing them at par and Universal Food Security.
- By bringing about economic justice and political empowerment of the SC, ST, OBC and other weaker sections. Enabling equal opportunity for education, health and livelihood, eradication of manual scavenging and untouchability, preservation of tribal culture and languages were also promised.
- Augmenting of traditional artisanship, empowering of the Waqf Boards were promised by the BJP.
- Delivering better public service to meet increasing aspirations in terms of education, health, housing, public transport of the neo-middle class.
- Bringing about integrated strategies for personal, economic and social well being of the rural areas, bring urban amenities to rural areas and village-level infrastructure.
- By bringing in 100 new cities, focused on specialised domains, building on concepts like twin cities and satellite towns, Wi-Fi in public places were some of the promises made for the urban areas.
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The BJP stated that they would take the nation forward. Here are some of the promises they made to follow that agenda through:
- Social security for children, senior citizens and specially-abled.
- Make student loans simpler and affordable, implement program to identify and train extraordinary sporting talent.
- Healthcare for women, strict implementation of laws for rape and acid attack victims, women-friendly police stations as well as save and educate the girl child campaign - Beti Bachao Beti Padhao were promised.
- Among the promises for education were raising of public spending on education to 6% of GDP, universalising of secondary education, apprenticeship program and multi-country student exchange programmes.
- Promotion of Yoga and Ayurveda, social health program, health assurance to all Indians, AIIMS-like institute in every state, universalisation of emergency medical services, make India open defecation free and eradicate malnutrition were some of the promises BJP made for healthcare.
- Implementation of GST, stabilise economic growth, revisit foreign and domestic policy framework, reform banking, protect MSMEs.
- The BJP promised farmers a consumer friendly farmers' market, welfare measures, promotion of organic farming and more.
- Breaking open the economic space for MSMEs was one of the few promises for traders.
- Identity cards to unorganised sector labourers, access to modern financial services and strengthening pension and health insurance to labourers were promised.
- Pucca house for every family by 2022, massive low cost housing programme were promised.
- Freight corridors, Sagar Mala project, modernised and upgraded Railways, connecting North East and J&K with rest of India through world class highways and rail lines, tourist rail, bullet train were some of the promises when it came to physical infrastructure.
- Inter-linking of rivers, drinking water to all, Pradhan Mantri Gram Sinchayee Yojana with a motto of 'har khet ko paani' were promised.
- Rebooting and reorienting foreign policy was promised.
- The BJP stated that they would revive the anti-terror mechanism dismantled by the Congress and strengthening of Civil Defence and Home Guards.
- The BJP promised to deal with cross border terrorism, establish 4 dedicated defence universities, implement One rank, One pension.
- Clean Ganga, protect cows and build the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya keeping all possibilities within constitutional framework in mind were also promised.
- Draft Uniform Civil Code for gender equality.
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