BJP manifesto pledges good governance, talks of constructing Ram Mandir, abrogating Article 370

The 52-page document also pledged to provide good governance and inclusive development.

New Delhi | Updated: April 7, 2014 3:22 pm

Contentious issues like construction of a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, abrogation of Art 370 giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of Uniform Civil Code have been included in the BJP’s election manifesto with the party making promises on them.

The 52-page document, released among others by its PM candidate Narendra Modi at the party headquarters here, also pledged to provide good governance and inclusive development.

BJP POLL MANIFESTO HIGHLIGHTS

BJP reiterates its stand to explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” the manifesto, delayed by a fortnight, said.

Asked about the reported differences within the party over inclusion of the Ram Temple issue, Murli Manohar Joshi, Chairman of the manifesto committee, said “whatever is there is there in the manifesto.  If you want to write something on the basis of your own perceptions, you are free to do”. The release of the manifesto came on the opening day of the 9-phased Lok Sabha elections drawing criticism from rivals.

There was speculation that Modi had reservations over the document drafted by Joshi and that the pet themes of sangh parivar may not figure in it in view of Modi’s stress on development in the current campaign.

Asked if the party was trying to confuse voters by including Ram Temple and whether this could be called raking up Hindutva, Joshi said, “this has nothing to do with Hindutva or athva (otherwise).  This is only a promise of development programme.”

He said Hindutva has never been an election issue and added the manifesto was based on issues of development and governance.

“We have put it in the section on “Cultural Heritage”. What is culturally important for us we have said,” Joshi said referring to the promise on Ram Temple.  He added the issue had been included in the previous election manifesto too and the party’s stand remained unchanged.

On Uniform Civil Code, the manifesto said Art 44 of the Constitution lists Uniform Civil Code (UCC) as one of the directive principles of the state policy.

“BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a UCC which protects the rights of all women and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a UCC drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with modern times,” said the document.

Dealing with Art 370 in the chapter on Jammu and Kashmir, the manifesto said “the BJP reiterates its stand on the Constitution provision and will discuss this with all stakeholders and remains committed to the abrogation of this article.”

Return of the Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood will figure high on the BJP’s agenda, it said.

In the “Cultural Heritage” section, the manifesto says that Ram Setu is part of our cultural heritage and also of strategic importance due to its vast thorium deposits.  These facts will be taken into consideration while taking any decision on Sethusamudram channel project.”

Terming the period of UPA I and II as “the decade of decay”, the manifesto said India had a “free fall” on all fronts, including governance, economy, diplomacy, foreign policy, border safety, etc.

At the same time, corruption, scams and crime against women have been reached “unacceptable” level.  There has been a gross misuse of government and institutions.  There has also been erosion of authority of the office of prime minister.

“The government dithered by each passing day casting gloom and doom on the country that was once under the NDA regime called the emerging superpower. Critical and urgent challenges facing the nation have been left unaddressed.

“Beyond impacting the immediate short term, this is corroding the long term potential of the nation.  People feel frustrated and have lost hope in the system.  Things must change and they must change now.  BJP will take immediate and decisive action to address these issues on a priority basis,” it said.

Under the chapter “Reform the System”, the BJP manifesto promised Good Governance, which will be transparent, effective, involving and encouraging and include reforms of administration, judiciary, police and election.

Corruption, the manifesto, said is a manifestation of poor governance.

“Moreover, it reflects the bad intentions of those sitting in power.  All pervasive corruption under the Congress-led UPA has become a national crisis.

“We will establish a system which will eliminate the scope of corruption through public awareness, technology enabled e-governance, system based policy-driven governance, rationalisation and simplification of the tax regime and simplification of the process and procedures at all levels,” the manifesto said.

Referring to the black money issue, the BJP document said its government will initiate process of tracking down and bringing back the black money stashed in foreign banks and offshore accounts.

“We will set up a task force for this purpose and to recommend amendments to existing laws or enact new laws.  The process of bringing back blackmoney to India will be put in motion on priority.  We will also proactively engage with foreign governments to facilitate information sharing on blackmoney.”

Dealing with “Decision and Policy Paralysis”, the manifesto said the country has suffered a decade of maladministration and scams in addition to decision and policy paralysis, thus bringing growth and development to a grinding halt leading to a governance deficit.

“This situation will be changed and the engine of government will be ignited again with strong will power and commitment to public interest.  We will also encourage the bureaucracy to take right decisions and contribute their might in building a modern India,” it said.

The BJP said the biggest challenge that India faced today was to restore the credibility of and trust in the Union Government.

“In recent years, the Union Government has lost every semblance of credibility.  Its intentions, integrity and initiatives are all questionable.

The Congress party has not only lowered the dignity of the government but also the dignity of India.

“The BJP will work for restoring the trust and credibility of the government.  We will also ensure that the chain of responsibility and accountability is built in the system,” it said.

On price rise, the manifesto said the runaway food inflation has crippled household budgets and contributed to overall inflationary trend.

“However, the Congress-led UPA government has remained insensitive and indifferent to the plight of the people tying itself into knots with short term misdirected steps,” it said.

On employment, the BJP accused the UPA government of “dragging” the country through 10 years of jobless growth.

The party promised to accord high priority to job creation and opportunities for entrepreneurship.

Dealing with “Decision and Policy Paralysis”, the manifesto said the country has suffered a decade of maladministration and scams in addition to decision and policy paralysis, thus bringing growth and development to a grinding halt leading to a governance deficit.

“This situation will be changed and the engine of government will be ignited again with strong will power and commitment to public interest.  We will also encourage the bureaucracy to take right decisions and contribute their might in building a modern India,” it said.

The BJP said the biggest challenge that India faced today was to restore the credibility of and trust in the Union Government.

“In recent years, the Union Government has lost every semblance of credibility.  Its intentions, integrity and initiatives are all questionable.

The Congress party has not only lowered the dignity of the government but also the dignity of India.

“The BJP will work for restoring the trust and credibility of the government.  We will also ensure that the chain of responsibility and accountability is built in the system,” it said.

On price rise, the manifesto said the runaway food inflation has crippled household budgets and contributed to overall inflationary trend.

“However, the Congress-led UPA government has remained insensitive and indifferent to the plight of the people tying itself into knots with short term misdirected steps,” it said.

On employment, the BJP accused the UPA government of “dragging” the country through 10 years of jobless growth.

The party promised to accord high priority to job creation and opportunities for entrepreneurship.

BJP will strategically develop  high-impact domains like labour-intensive manufacturing and tourism.  It will also strengthen the traditional employment basis of agriculture and allied industries and retail through modernisation as well as stronger credit and market linkages.

Propounding a “Team India” concept, the BJP said the genuine grievances of every state will be addressed in a comprehensive manner and it will place Centre-State relations on an even keel through the process of consultation.

“Team India will not be limited to the Prime Minister-led Team sitting in Delhi but will also include Chief Ministers and other functionaries as equal partners,” it said.

The party pledged to ensure fiscal autonomy of states while urging financial discipline. It will create regional councils of states with common problems and concerns with a view to seeking solutions that are applicable across a group of states.

It promised to encourage cooperation among states on security-related issues, inter-state disputes and removing inter-regional economic disparities and promoting tourism.

“The moribund forums like National Development Council and Inter-State Council will be revived and made into active bodies,” the manifesto said and promised to involve state governments in the promotion of foreign trade and commerce.

It will also help states mobilise resources through investments in industry, agriculture and infrastructure,” the manifesto said.

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  1. A
    abdul
    Apr 7, 2014 at 9:57 am
    If construction of a temple on an unlawfully demolished Masjid is a cultural issue, we are keen to know more about their religious issues.......
    Reply
  2. A
    Arvind
    Apr 7, 2014 at 12:18 pm
    The primary responsibilities for any democratic government are Defence, Foreign Policy, and Homeland security. Defense is not even comprehensively addressed in the BJP manifesto. Foreign policy is hardly mentioned and Homeland security is somewhat addressed through police reforms. National security is a fundamental aspect of all progress for a nation like ours. Successive Indian governments have been weak in Geopolitics and Defense - weakness in these areas and the rise of China as well as the withdrawal of US from Afghanistan will have major implications for India. Without a sound and comprehensive Defence and Foreign policy - the rest of the Agenda of the government can be severely jeopardized.
    Reply
  3. M
    Manish
    Apr 7, 2014 at 1:00 pm
    I'm a Modi supporter and find the temple-issue irrelevant! MM Joshi and LK Advani are caught in a time-warp with their century old ideas, just like the illiterate and stone-age Muslim fundamentalists who swear by Sharia! Through excavations of the disputed-site, the Archeological Survey of India has proven beyond reasonable doubt that a temple was razed to build the Babri Masjid and the Supreme Court has accepted that proof, but then rebuilding the Ram Temple will not lead to "Ram-rajya" and "two wrongs don't make a right"! Or may be I'm being too docile. I wonder if Joshi and Advani's single-point agenda is to sink BJP after being side-lined by the new-generation leaders like Modi and Jaitley! NB: Joshi is the chief-architect of the BJP manifesto!!
    Reply
  4. N
    Namit Kumar
    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:21 am
    For this, at best average Manifesto, BJP took extended period of time, there is nothing new to offer except perhaps Bullet train. Also they have tried to present old contentious issues such as Mandir, Art 370 and Common Civil Code which is a clear reflection of RSS effect. I wonder if they had miscalculated their prospective no. of seats, because if BJP is not getting at least 210 seats by its own, they will find it difficult to get support for their manifesto. Decision against FDI in retail is also an step backward. This is not a reformist manifesto people expected. It seems like Modi's speeches, his manifesto also has no substance.
    Reply
  5. A
    Arya
    Apr 7, 2014 at 9:06 am
    Bolo bhai kuch, BJP ne itna bola, aap bhi kuch bolo, .................Karna thodi hai, Bolte raho
    Reply
  6. V
    vasantrao deshpande
    Apr 7, 2014 at 11:22 am
    Why the Lord Ram is in your manifesto ? Did he ever ask you? Why do the BJP drag unnecessarily this issue in politics when the Lord Rama is least concerned and bothered about your dirty politics. You are the spoiler of the healthy atmosphere in the country. Your manifesto could be without without this issue. Quite old in age but I don't see any maturity amongst you. Not good.
    Reply
  7. V
    VK
    Apr 7, 2014 at 10:15 am
    A Visionary manifesto by BJP which is full of actionable and not just lofty ideas. Muslims must reconsider their position and join mainstream to gain from development.
    Reply
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