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BJP launches mega drive to prepare election manifesto, to seek views of 10 cr people

PTI     February 3, 2019

(Eds: Adds details) New Delhi, Feb 3 (PTI) Launching a mega drive to seek views from 10 crore people for BJP's manifesto for the coming Lok Sabha election, its chief Amit Shah asserted Sunday that only the Modi government can ensure inclusive growth as it has laid a "strong" foundation for India's long-term development. Shah, along with senior party leader Rajnath Singh, launched "Bharat ke mann ki baat, Modi ke saath", a month-long campaign to seek suggestions from people across the country to help the BJP prepare its 'sankalp patra' for the general election, expected to be held in April-May. Asserting that this nationwide exercise is the first of its kind by any political party in the country, Shah said it is aimed at "democratising" the process of preparing manifesto and will involve the general public in deciding the framework of the "New India" they want. "This is not a BJP programme but people's exercise. This is a unique experiment, will strengthen democracy in the country," Shah said. He said election manifestoes are often taken lightly but his party is determined to restore its sanctity. "What kind of country people want and what is their suggestion. This exercise will help in reaching out to them to seek their views," Shah told reporters at an event here. The BJP sought the first suggestion under the outreach campaign from a waiter of the hotel where the event was organised. A tagline of the campaign is "Kaam kare jo, ummeed usi se so" (You expect from one who works), with photographs of Prime Minister Narendra Modi displayed prominently on its publicity material. Shah said the big difference between BJP and other parties is it has kept its internal democracy intact while dynasty, casteism and vote banks power its rivals; they can never provide the country the inclusive development and holistic progress it needs, he said. The BJP is ideologically driven, Shah added. He claimed before 2014, the country was gripped by anxiety and fear, and the BJP-led government laid the foundation of a strong India after it came to power that year. "Previous governments were busy in ensuring their survival for five years and damaged the country by making populist announcements aimed at winning elections," Shah alleged. Sharing the details of the manifesto campaign, Singh, the Union Home Minister, said BJP workers will travel across the country in 300 vehicles and people's views will be sought by placing 7,500 boxes in 4,000 assembly constituencies. Singh, who is also the head of the party's 'sankalp patra' committee, said never before an exercise has been launched at such a level to prepare a party's election manifesto. "The party will reach out to 10 crore people through 7 ways including telephone, social media and other mediums to seek their suggestions on 12 topics," Singh said. Farmers and agriculture, youth and sports, women empowerment, inclusive development, economy, health, education, national security, foreign policy are among the topics on which the party will seek suggestions, Singh said. He said the party has appointed one leader for each category: Arun Jaitley for economy-related issues, Shivraj Singh Chouhan for agriculture, Vinay Sahasrabuddhe for foreign policy. The home minister also spoke about pro-farmer measures taken by the government and claimed the prime minister has emerged as the "biggest" well-wisher of farmers. "The farmers have faith in the prime minister. Since Independence, many governments have made promises to uplift the situation of farmers. Our government is the one working towards this," he said. Singh asserted that government wants to do more for farmers and will solicit their opinions and suggestions through this exercise. PTI JTR/KR KR ABH ABH

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