Top promises in BJP manifesto for 2019 Lok Sabha elections

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday released its Sankalp Patra, the poll manifesto for the seven-phased 2019 Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11.
The document, while focusing on nationalism, farm sector, infrastructure and governance, lays stress on youth with several promises for their welfare.

Here is the BJP manifesto summed up in 15 points:

Zero tolerance approach to terrorism
The manifesto says: “Our security doctrine will be guided by our national security interest only. This is exemplied by the surgical strikes and the air strikes carried out recently. We will firmly continue our policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism and extremism and will continue to follow our policy of giving a free hand to our security forces in combating terrorism.”

National security
The manifesto promises to speed up the purchases of outstanding defense related equipment and weapons. In order to well equip the Armed Forces, the document promises to continue to take focused steps to strengthen the strike capability of the Armed Forces.

Citizenship amendment bill
On the citizenship issue, the BJP promises to enact the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries escaping persecution. “We will make all efforts to clarify the issues to the sections of population from the Northeastern states who have expressed apprehensions regarding the legislation. We reiterate our commitment to protect the linguistic, cultural and social identity of the people of Northheast. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India’s neighbouring countries will be given citizenship in India,” the document says.

Art 370, 35A in Jammu and Kashmir
On Article 370, the BJP said it has the same position on the matter since the time of the Jan Sangh. “We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir. We believe that Article 35A is an obstacle in the development of the state,” the document says.

Pension for small and marginal farmers
The manifesto promises a pension scheme for all small and marginal farmers in the country so as to ensure social security to them on reaching 60 years of age.

Roadmap for 5 trillion dollar economy
On economic front, the manifesto says that India was branded as ‘fragile five’ in 2014 and “within five years, we have turned India into a bright spot that is not only the fastest growing major economy of the world but also enjoys macroeconomic stability. We aspire to make India the third largest economy of the world by 2030. This implies that we commit to make India a US $ 5 trillion economy by 2025 and US $ 10 trillion economy by 2032.

On Sabarimala
“We will undertake every effort to ensure that the subject of faith, tradition and worship rituals related to Sabarimala are presented in a comprehensive manner before the Hon’ble Supreme Court. We will endeavour to secure constitutional protection on issues related to faith and belief,” it says.

On Ram mandir
On the issue of Ram temple at Ayodhya, the Sanklap Patra says : “We reiterate our stand on Ram Mandir. We will explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and all necessary efforts to facilitate the expeditious construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.”

Uniform Civil Code
“Article 44 of the Constitution of India lists Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a Uniform Civil Code, which protects the rights of all women, and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a Uniform Civil Code, drawing upon the best traditions and harmonizing them with the modern time,” the document says.

Foreign policy
“While pursuing our national developmental and security interests, the ancient Indian vision of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’ will form the basis in our global co-operation for progress, prosperity, peace and security, especially with friendly countries and neighbours. Besides working to secure and safeguard ‘global commons’, we will strengthen our role as ‘first responder’ for disaster relief and humanitarian assistance and develop partnerships for disaster resilient infrastructure”.

Benami properties, economic offenders
Promising to crack down on benami properties and illegal foreign bank accounts, the Sankalp Patra promises to expedite efforts to bring fugitive economic offenders back to India and prosecute them for their crimes.

Simultaneous elections
The BJP in its manifesto expresses its commitment to the idea of simultaneous elections for Parliament, State assemblies and local bodies. The party promises to build consensus on this issue with all other parties.

Accessible healthcare
The manifesto says, “While providing annual health cover of Rs. 5 lakh to 10.74 crore poor families under the Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana under Ayushman Bharat, we also initiated a programme to set up 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) by 2022. Till date 17,150 HWCs have become functional. We will take up the programme of HWCs to next level. We will target provisioning of telemedicine and diagnostic laboratory facilities at these HWCs by 2022 to ensure quality primary medical care to the poor at his doorstep.”

Opportunities for youth
On opportunities for the youth, the manifesto promises to create jobs by providing more support to the 22 major ‘Champion Sectors’ identified as the main drivers of Indian economy. “We will optimally leverage the untapped employment-generation of potential of sectors such as defence and pharmaceuticals,” the document says

Women in workforce
On welfare of women, the manifesto says that they would be made equal partners in and equal beneficiaries of the progress and prosperity of the nation and the party would formulate a comprehensive ‘Women in Workforce’ roadmap focused on dramatically increasing the female workforce participation rate over the next five years.