BJP manifesto comes under attack for 'Hindutva agenda'

Written by PTI | New Delhi | Updated: Apr 8 2014, 00:36am hrs
Political parties today slammed BJP'S manifesto especially over inclusion of Ram temple and other 'Hindutva' issues, saying it was only aimed at hoodwinking voters.

Congress leader Digvijay Singh accused BJP of exploiting religion for political gains. Pointing to a recent sting on the Ram Mandir agitation, he said many VHP leaders were heard saying that the death of some Hindus was required to infuse a new life into the movement.

"They spoke about religion and have exploited it politically," the Congress general secretary said. He welcomed BJP's offer to help madrassas, saying it is a good sign for country.

Left parties also came down heavily on BJP for the mention of Ram Temple issue in its manifesto, saying it is intended to "consolidate" Hindu votes.

Observing that BJP has reiterated its "hardcore Hindutva agenda" by highlighting issues like the Ram Temple, abrogation of Article 370 and a uniform civil code, senior CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said "this is its real agenda".

"That it will abide by the Constitution on the temple issue is a total eyewash. Which constitutional provision has endorsed the destruction of Babri Masjid," he asked.

Terming the manifesto as mere sloganeering, Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Omar Abdullah said people have witnessed in the past that issues like Common Civil Code, Ram Mandir and Article 370 are "handles" for BJP to come to power.

Similar views were echoed by his father and President of National Conference Farooq Abdullah who said BJP was trying to fool people of this country by "selling dreams".

Omar reminded that this is not the first time that issues like Article 370, Ram temple and Common Civil Code have been raised.

"Please tell me when did they actually address these issues when they were in power. What was the development done by them on these issues," he said, adding, "This is purely an effort to hoodwink the voters of this country."

Naresh Agarwal of Samajwadi Party said the manifesto was only a showpiece and BJP was interested in grabbing power by any means.

"Their manifesto is eating... and cheating. It is about grabbing power, doing the politics over dead bodies...," he said.

Congress spokesperson Rashid Alvi questioned how BJP will fulfil its promise of building a house for every family and reaching drinking water to all villages.

"Where from will money come How long will it take They should be clear about it," he said.

AAP said the manifesto showed that BJP's true agenda is to promote communal divisive policies while its developmental agenda "is nothing but a farce".

"With promise rebuilding the Ram Mandir and abrogation of Article 370 in their manifesto, BJP has shown that the agenda of development was a short-term farce and that communal and divisive policies are their true agenda.

"The most worrying part of BJPs election manifesto in line with the recent speeches of their party leaders is the reiteration of their communal agenda," said a statement issued by the party.

CPI said the manifesto was completely in tune with the agenda of the RSS which had now come out in the open to lead the principal opposition party.

JD(U) said it was "end of Atal Bihari Vajpayee era" in BJP.

"He had promised Article 370, Uniform Civil Code and Ram Temple agenda will be out of the BJP manifesto, but today the BJP has ended that era by mentioning it in its manifesto," party leader K C Tyagi said

Union Minister Jairam Ramesh accused BJP of plagarism, saying that the opposition party's manifesto is a very "hastily" prepared "high school essay" by "lifting" some of the portions from his own speeches and writings.

Describing it as a "deeply disappointing document", the Congress leader also alleged that it talks about programmes and initiatives which are initiated by the UPA Government.

On the question of existence of controversial issue of Article 370, Ram Temple and Uniform Civil Code in the manifesto, Ramesh said, "how the allies of the BJP will take to this promises --only the allies can answer."

He said that the delay in the release of manifesto "betrays policy confusion at the highest level" of BJP.

"It is clear that the BJP is being pulled in different directions and they have not been able to arrive at a major consensus," Ramesh said.