BJP manifesto promises to scale up existing schemes; Modi calls them bedrock of 21st century India

“It is a guarantee of completing the guarantees,” says Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of BJP's poll manifesto at party headquarters in Delhi | Sanjay Ahlawat Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the launch of BJP's poll manifesto at party headquarters in Delhi | Sanjay Ahlawat

The BJP picked up Constitution framer Dr B.R. Ambedkar's birth anniversary to release its manifesto, calling it a promise to prepare the country for 2047 when India will celebrate its 100th independence day. The much awaited manifesto aims at saturation of existing schemes, scaling them up to fill the gaps. As Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the manifesto, he kept the focus on development, building infrastructure, promoting India as a global manufacturing hub while briefly touching on the new cultural promises.

The BJP had fulfilled most of its ideological promises like removal of Article 370, enactment of CAA and construction of Ram Temple, so there were no new grandiose promises but reiteration of the existing ones. It, however, added a few more cultural promises—holistic development of Ayodhya, promotion of Ramayana development of cultural sites, preservation of Indian manuscripts, promotion of classical languages like Tamil, while promoting Thiruvalluvar and Birsa Munda. 

India will bid for the 2036 Olympics and make a transition from Chandrayaan to launch of Gaganyaan, PM Modi said. 

The big promise in BJP’s manifesto is not the promise of new things, but on delivery, which is termed as Modi’s Guarantee. “It is a guarantee of completing the guarantees,” Modi said. This is also the campaign theme for the BJP as it is in the midst of a hectic campaign with the first phase elections due on April 19.

The manifesto is a step-up of existing government schemes which aims to give a signal and hope to the people that they will get more. Modi is aiming to build his legacy on full saturation of his existing schemes as most of the ideas also appear to have come from the ministries. “We will get down to implementation in the next 100 days after forming government,” Modi said.

The prime minister had already tasked the ministries to prepare a 100 days plan, and many such initiatives are now part of the manifesto (Sankalp Patra)—from piped gas to inclusion of senior citizens over 70 years in the Ayushman scheme for free treatment up to 5 lakh rupees. Other promises include starting new versions of Vande Bharat trains to cover two more categories of metros and sleeper trains, and bringing bullet trains to South, North and East regions of the country as it is already under construction in the west from Mumbai to Ahmedabad.

The manifesto promised to move forward on 'One Nation, One Election' idea. In case of uniform civil code, Modi said, "The BJP considers implementation of Uniform Civil Code crucial for the country."

Similarly, stepping up the existing schemes, Modi promised to build three crore more affordable houses (four crore houses were already built), free power after installing solar panels on the rooftops, and increase of Mudra loan upto Rs 20 lakhs from Rs 10 lakhs. 

The BJP stirred away from giving “freebies” as some of the stipends have been promised by the other parties.  “Our aim is not only quantity of opportunities, but also quality of opportunities… Jobs will be created through infrastructure.. We will try to sustain those who have come out of poverty. Free ration will continue for another five year,” Modi said.

The BJP divided its manifesto into 24 themes where it covered social groups like poor, women, youth, senior citizens to sectors like health, sports, MSME, education, technology.

Modi said India is setting a global example in women-led development today and the party was committed to transforming the country into a hub for food processing, and to increase tourism potential. “BJP is fortifying three pillars of infrastructure, the bedrock of 21st-century India: social, physical, and digital infrastructure.”

To ensure this infrastructure, the BJP manifesto promises establishing new educational institutions, universities for social infrastructure while enhancing facilities near highways to ensure the safety of truck drivers and reduce accidents. 

“For physical infrastructure, BJP is spearheading the modernization of highways, railways, waterways and airways across the nation. Simultaneously, in the realm of digital infrastructure, efforts are underway to expand the reach of 5G technology while also laying the groundwork for advancements like 6G. Policies are being formulated with a focus on Industry 4.0.”

The BJP has kept its manifesto anchored in implementing policies of the government faster and at a bigger scale. Now, it will have to work to hardsell it to the people using Modi’s appeal.

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