The BJP manifesto promises to double farmers' income by next year and housing for all by 2020. The change in rhetoric seems to have been effected by the loss in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan during the assembly elections held last year.
Two of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s pet themes — Ram Mandir and cow protection — find only passing mentions in the party manifesto for Lok Sabha elections 2019. The manifesto, titled the Sankalp Patra (pledge document), was released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah in the presence of top leaders at the party’s head office in New Delhi today.
The BJP Sankalp Patra lists 75 promises which are aimed at changing India by 2022, the 75th year of Independence. Most of these pledges have been pegged around national security, welfare, farmers and rural India. However, two of the issues which featured prominently on the BJP’s manifesto in 2014 seem to have taken a backseat. (Live updates)
Construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya and cow protection, the two issues which have been the BJP’s pet themes, find only a passing reference in the BJP’s manifesto. There were only 2 mentions of the Ram temple in the 45-page manifesto, saying that the government would ‘explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya.’ In March, the Supreme Court had appointed a panel to explore an amicable solution in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case.
Gau raksha (Cow protection) has been an important component in BJP’s ideology. In the last 5 years, BJP government has banned abattoirs and tanneries, while a number of the BJP ministers have tried to demonise beef-eating. This issue finds absolutely no reference in the party’s vision document for the next five years.
Among other promises, the BJP manifesto promises to double farmers’ income by next year and housing for all by 2020. The change in rhetoric seems to have been effected by the loss in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Rajasthan during the assembly elections held last year. Congress, that swept all three states, had focused its campaign on waiving off farm loans and improving rural economy.
Also read: 5 key promises from BJP Manifesto 2019
Days after the Congress released its manifesto promising a minimum income to the poorest 20% households, the BJP today promised to spend Rs 25 lakh crore in the next five years for rural development. Union minister Rajnath Singh said, “will give Rs 6,000 yearly income support to farmers and pension to small and marginal farmers above 60 years of age.”
The first phase of the 2019 general elections will begin on April 11 and will be held in seven phases. The results will be declared on May 23.