Terrorism, national security, soldier welfare, Article 370 related to Jammu Kashmir, combating infiltration were some of the key issues that Bharatiya Janata Party highlighted in its manifesto released on Monday for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
Terming the manifesto as a vision document for the "New India", the manifesto promised to create growth opportunities for the people of India as the BJP sought continuity for the sake of stability.
The party that has been highlighting crackdowns on the terror groups by the way of surgical and air strikes in Pakistan, and putting the separatist elements under tight leash, stated in its manifesto that it will "firmly continue" the policy of ''Zero Tolerance'' against terrorism and extremism and will continue to follow the policy of "giving a free hand to our security forces in combating terrorism."
In order the strengthen the armed forces, the BJP claims to speed up the purchases of outstanding defense related equipments and weapons. "In order to equip the Armed Forces with modern equipment, we will continue to take focused steps to strengthen the strike capability of the Armed Forces," the party manifesto stated.
For the welfare of soldiers, the party promises to create a more effective framework for the resettlement of Armed Forces veterans. "Under this effort, the Armed Forces will start planning for the resettlement of soldiers three years before their retirement and in accordance with their preferences. This will include provision for skills training, so skills training, and financial support for higher education, for housing and for starting an enterprise," the manifesto said.
For combating infiltration, BJP claims to "implement the NRC in a phased manner in other parts of the country."
The party in its manifesto states that it is "committed to the enactment of 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 Northeast. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India''s neighbouring countries will be given citizenship in India," the party stated.
The party has also reiterated its demand for "abrogation" of Article 370, "annulling" Article 35A in the state of Jammu and Kashmir.
In the Agriculture sector, the party reiterated its commitment to providing Rs 6,000 per year to the farmers as mentioned by the NDA government in its interim budget. "We have launched Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana to ensure fnancial support to farmers owning land up to 2 hectares. We will further expand the coverage of the scheme to all the farmers in the country...We will launch 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. We are committed to making an investment of Rs. 25 lakh crore to improve the productivity of the farm sector. We will provide short-term new agriculture loans up to Rs. 1 lakh at a 0% interest rate for 1-5 years on the condition of prompt repayment of the principal amount. Our scheme, Pradhan Mantri FasalBima Yojana has ensured risk mitigation and provided insurance cover for all farmers. We will make enrolment of farmers under the scheme voluntary," the manifesto read.
In addition it talked about launching Oilseeds Mission, building efficient storage and transport mechanism for agriculture produce, launching National Bee-keeping and Honey Mission to ensure additional returns to the farmers.
The manifesto said that in order to make India the third largest economy of the world by 2030, and committed to make India a $5 trillion economy by 2025 and $10 trillion economy by 2032.
For the welfare of small traders, the party promises to "establish National Traders'' Welfare Board and create a National Policy for Retail Trade for the growth of retail businesses. The BJP stated that it aims to take the Credit Guarantee Scheme credit to Rs.1,00,000 crore by 2024.
To ensure urban development, the party has vowed to set up five regional centres of excellence on urban issues. These centres will provide support to states and local bodies on issues of urban governance and growth."
"We will launch a National Urban Mobility Mission to provide technology based urbanmobility solutions to all urban local bodies and increase the use of public transport, enhance walkability and cycle use... In the next five years, we will ensure that 50 cities are covered with a strong metro network," the manifesto states.
Taking forward its Swachh Bharat Mission, party states that it will ensure that all "habitations attain open defecation free status and those that have attained thestatus sustain the behavioural change."
"We will launch ''Jal Jivan Mission'' under which we will introduce a special programme, ''Nal se Jal'' to ensure piped water for every household by 2024," the manifesto added. In order to improve road connectivity, the party aims to "construct 60,000 kms of National Highways in the next five years. We will double the length of National Highways by 2022," it added. To improve the Railway infrastructure, the party states that it will take efforts to "ensure electrification of all railway tracks by 2022."
"We will complete the dedicated freight corridor project by 2022... We will equip all main railway stations with Wi-Fi facility by 2022," the manifesto read.
The party stated that there are a total of 101 functional airports today and it will work towards doubling this number in the next five years.
For strengthening health infrastructure, the party claimed that it will "accelerate the reforms in paramedical education sector so as to increase the availability of nurses, pharmacists and other paramedical personnel."
The party manifesto also stated that the BJP was committed to the idea of simultaneous elections for Parliament, State assemblies and local bodies to reduce expenditure, ensure efficient utilisation of government resources and security forces and for effective policy planning.
In the Science and Technology sector, the BJP manifesto states that the party will "launch a Language Translation Mission that will enable ready translation of English text inScience & Technology and humanities in any of our languages. This will take the best works, bilingually, to every student in the country."
To create more opportunities for the youth, the party states that it will "launch a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit up to Rs 50 lakh for entrepreneurs. We will guarantee 50 per cent of the loan amount for female entrepreneurs and 25 per cent of the loan amount for male entrepreneurs."
"We will set-up new ''Entrepreneurial Northeast'' scheme to provide financial support to the micro, small and medium industries and for employment generation in the Northeastern state," the manifesto states.
On the issue of construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya, the party manifesto sated: "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." (ANI)