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News18 Daybreak | BJP Releases its 'Sankalp Patra' for Lok Sabha 2019 Polls and Other Stories to Watch Out For

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Updated:April 9, 2019, 9:52 AM IST

What to Watch Out For

BJP releases its 'Sankalp Patra' for Lok Sabha 2019 polls; Here a few highlights

With just two days to go for the first phase of polls, the BJP on Monday released its much awaited-manifesto titled ‘Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat’, which promised to deliver on 75 promises for the 75 years of Independence.

The saffron party led with nationalism as its top priority in the elections manifesto, with PM Narendra Modi even stressing that “nationalism is our inspiration” at the launch event.

The event on Monday was attended by the party’s top brass including BJP president Amit Shah, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and the Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment Thawarchand Gehlot.

Manifesto promises: Drafted by a 12-member committee led by Rajnath Singh, the 45-page document lists out several of the party’s poll promises which begin with the issue of national security.

Highlighting their intent to adopt a “zero-tolerance approach to terrorism”, the party says it will give a free hand to the security forces in dealing with terrorism. The other measures that the party has listed around this issue deal with the strengthening and modernisation of the armed forces, combating infiltration and reinforcing border security.

Unlike the Congress’ pointed income guarantee scheme – the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), which promises to give 20 per cent of the poorest families Rs72000, the saffron party only said that it would be giving every farmer an annual income of Rs 6000.

On the issue of farmer welfare, the party has also promised to double farmer’s incomes by 2022, a pension scheme for the small and the marginal farmers and Rs 25 lakh crore investment in the agri-rural sector. Although there is no mention of a loan waiver scheme, the party promises to give interest-free loans for 1-5 years.

In a surprise move, the BJP in its poll manifesto has said that it will implement the Citizenship Amendment Bill if voted to power. This comes in spite of the party leaders like Shah and Modi leaving out a mention of the contentious issue during their rally addresses in the Northeastern states in the past weeks.

In its manifesto, the party reaffirmed its position to render protection to only “Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India’s neighbouring countries” and grant them citizenship.

A bigger controversy was sparked over the party’s promise to abrogate Article 370, which gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir, and Article 35-A of the Constitution, which provides special rights and privileges to the state’s “permanent residents”. According to the manifesto, the scrapping of this article was justified as it stood in the way of the government’s efforts towards development, security and equality in the state.

In its Sankalp Patra, the party also promises to “explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and all necessary efforts to facilitate the expeditious construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya”.

Interestingly, despite the issue of high unemployment rates remaining at the forefront of many debates this elections season, the party did not explicitly mention jobs in its manifesto. The poll manifesto only encloses a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit to up to 50 lakh entrepreneurs.

He said she said: Soon after the BJP released its manifesto, National Conference president Farooq Abdullah hit out at the party saying, “They talk of abrogating Article 370. If you do that, the accession will also not stand. I think this is the wish of Almighty, we will get freedom from them”

Congress and Aam Admi Party also ridiculed the party over a gaffe in one of its manifesto promises for women. Congress shared the screenshot of one of the points in the BJP manifesto wherein it was written,” "Women's security will be given more priority. We have constituted the Women's Security Division in the Home Ministry, and have made strict provisions for transferring the laws in order to commit crimes against women, in particular in a time-bound investigation and trail for rape."

The Congress in its Twitter handle wrote, “At least one point in BJP's manifesto reflects their true intentions.” The party in a press conference earlier slammed the BJP for coming out with a “copy-paste” document similar to its 2014 manifesto and even released a document titled ‘125 Broken Promises of the BJP Manifesto 2014’.

What You May Have Missed

I-T raids expose Rs 281-crore ‘collection racket' in MP, cash trail leads sleuths to ‘major political party in Delhi’

The Delhi Directorate of Income Tax on Monday detected a "widespread", "organised" racket of unaccounted cash of about Rs 281 crore in Madhya Pradesh. The team raided several properties that belong to businessmen, politicians and people related to other public services. "A part of the cash was also transferred to the headquarter of a major political party in Delhi, including about Rs 20 crore which was moved through hawala recently to the headquarter of the political party from the residence of a senior functionary at Delhi's Tughlak Road," a news agency said quoting its sources. The development comes even as the Income Tax department's searches against close aides of Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Kamal Nath and others continued on the second day Monday.

Indore: Central Reserve Police (CRP) personnel stand guard during Income Tax officials' raid at the premises of Praveen Kakkar, OSD to MP Chief Minister Kamal Nath in Indore on Sunday (PTI Photo)

Madras High Court cancels land acquisition proceedings for Salem National Highway project; TN govt to appeal

In a major setback for Tamil Nadu government, the Madras high court on Monday quashed Chennai -Salem Greenfield corridor highway's land acquisition process. The state government had in last year passed a government order to acquire the land for the eight-way Chennai- Salem highway which triggered massive protests across many districts in northern Tamil Nadu since it affected agricultural lands and forest areas. Many petitions were filed with AIADMK's ally in the state, the Pattali Makkal Katchi (PMK), also filing one. The high court has quashed the order of Tamil Nadu government on land acquisition, stayed the process and also ordered that all the land that was acquired earlier should be returned within eight weeks with the necessary documents.

News18 Election Tracker: KCR supports Andhra's Special Status and Deve Gowda says Naidu is country's next PM

Chandrababu's rival KCR announces support for Andhra's Special Status

Telangana chief minister and TRS party chief K Chandrashekhar Rao Monday said his party would support the demand for Special Category Status for neighbouring Andhra Pradesh. Addressing an election rally in Vikarabad in Telangana, Chandrashekhar Rao said "Our MPs have already supported the Special Category Status for Andhra Pradesh. We will continue to support. Our party and YS Jaganmohan Reddy's (YSR) Party together will get around 35 or 36 seats (out of 42 in the two states together) and we will fight for the SCS". Chandrashekhar Rao's support for Andhra Pradesh's Special status comes amid his political rivalry with AP chief minister Chandrababu Naidu.

Deve Gowda declares Chandrababu Naidu PM face of regional partners, Andhra CM junks suggestion

JD(S) chief and former prime minister Deve Gowda on Monday predicted that Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu will be the country’s next prime minister. “Who is going to challenge Modi is an issue. That has been going on in the media… Naidu has taken the lead to fight Modi's undemocratic ways of destroying democratic institutions," he said in his joint rally with Naidu in Andhra Pradesh’s Kishna district on Monday evening. Interestingly, Gowda also said that the Andhra CM would lead the coalition front of regional parties but left out a mention of the Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) president and Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrashekar Rao, who had earlier sought his support for a federal coalition.

On Reel

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday released the ‘Sankalp Patra’, the BJP manifesto for upcoming Lok Sabha elections, with a special focus on Uniform Civil Code, Ram Mandir, one nation-one election, farmers and economic growth. Here are a few highlights.

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