The city unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party released its manifesto on Saturday in which it has steered clear of focussing on its candidate Kirron Kher. The manifesto mentions the achievements of the two local leaders Satya Pal Jain and Harmohan Dhawan. With the BJP hoping to cash in on the ‘Modi wave’, the focus of the manifesto is on formation of a government by Narendra Modi.
Interestingly, during the last Lok Sabha elections in 2009, the manifesto of BJP had mentioned in detail the achievements of Satya Pal Jain who was the then candidate. The background of Jain, his achievements as well as his role in the party was elaborated. His vision for the party was also outlined. In the manifesto released on Saturday, while there are pictures of Kher, no other details about her are provided.
In fact, the manifesto was released in her absence as she reached the BJP office an hour late. Party president Sanjay Tandon said that she was busy with campaigning due to which she reached late. It was Tandon who elaborated on the vision of the BJP for the elections.
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Kher was chosen as the candidate for the Lok Sabha elections over three local candidates including party president Sanjay Tandon, former MP Satya Pal Jain and former Union Minister Harmohan Dhawan. This was followed by widespread protests in the city unit. Thereafter, the focus of the party shifted towards seeking votes in the name of Modi.
BJP president Sanjay Tandon says, “Modi is a brand and he is our prime ministerial candidate. Modi is a name that is catching more than the BJP. Most of our election material has his pictures.”
It is pictures of Modi and the rally held by him in Chandigarh that dominate the manifesto. The slogan Abki baar Modi sarkar is on the cover page. There are pictures of Kher campaigning in different parts of the city along with other senior leaders. The work that has been done by Jain and Dhawan in the city during their terms as the city’s MP have been highlighted.
Commenting on the issue, Jain said, “I had been an MP twice so the work I had done in the city was highlighted in my manifesto. The process of preparing the manifesto had been started around three months back before the candidate was announced. Kirron Kher stands by the promises that have been made.”