With forgotten promises of 2014, BJP comes out with a complete sham in 2019…
- BJP released its manifesto for 2019 with a 45-page document with lofty promises
- The Marg Darshak Mandal headed by LK Advani was left out of the ceremony
- Promises in the manifesto include pension plans for farmers, decisive approach on terrorism and Ram temple resolution
- Opposition leaders have called it a balloon of lies criticizing Modi for unfulfilled promises from 2014
PM Modi’s bid to stay in power ‘Sankalp Patra’, is the 45-page BJP Manifest that asks for the voter’s blessings to continue unhindered on the path of development. Accompanying the manifesto is a 4-page promise that aims to achieve 75 resolutions by 2022, when India turns 75.
The BJP, similar to the Congress Manifesto, aims big with enticing promises for the voters like firm and decisive action against terrorism, doubling farmers income in 3 years, ensuring construction of Ram temple, and pension schemes for farmers and small businessmen.
— Chowkidar Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 8, 2019
But while manifestos keep getting fancier and more attractive with time, the historical record of any party achieving the pledges in its manifesto are rather disappointing.
BJP’s manifesto in 2019 trumps Congress’s recently release manifesto, arguably creating skepticism due to the elaborate nature and wide range of promises. Our political analyst Rajan Prakash is unsure how many promises are in actual BJP plans, and how many are ‘Jumlas’ as explained by party president Amit Shah after 2014.
The launch left ‘Marg Darshaks’ out
The launch ceremony of the manifesto saw Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with President Amit Shah, the manifesto committee chairman Rajnath Singh, and senior members like Arun Jaitley, Sushma Swaraj, Thavarchand Gehlot and Ram Lal.
BJP’s Election Manifesto’s cover in 2014
There was something odd about this line up – No LK Advani or Murli Manohar Joshi. Perhaps the release of the manifesto signals end of the ride for BJP’s old guard. This is the first time in BJP’s electoral history that Advani and Joshi haven’t been among the main ranks present on stage.
From a party of visionaries to the Modi wave
The BJP high command is confident of the ability of the PM and has decided to centre this election solely on Modi.
In 2014, the BJP Manifesto cover was filled with pictures of veterans Atal Bihari Vajpayee, LK Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi, along with present day senior leaders Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, Manohar Parrikar, and Arun Jaitley among other.
The 2019 manifesto cover exclusively features PM Modi. The last page carries pictures of Shyama Prasad Mukherjee, Deen Dayal Upadhyay and Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
The 2019 Manifesto and BJP’s campaign is banks on Modi’s image.
This confirms the prominence of Modi and BJP’s dependence of his personality.
PM Modi, while releasing the pledge, said that Nationalism was the party’s inspiration, helping the backward (referring to Deen Dayal Upadhyaya Antyodaya Yojana) its philosophy and good governance it’s our mantra. The PM said:
“Our agenda is – One Mission, One Direction. The government’s metal is not what schemes it has brought, but the welfare from those schemes has reached the people intended.”
The Manifesto at large – comprehensive, idealistic and unconvincing
As was expected, BJP’s manifesto is comprehensive like Congress’ but with far bigger electoral promises for the poor and the working class. Apart from genuine electoral promises aimed at farmers, businessmen, and working middle class, it also emboldens the nationalist sentiment with appeasement on the J&K issue and Ayodhya with promises of discussions about Article 370 and 35A.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest promises in BJP’s ‘Sankalp Patra’.
Nationalism, J&K, Article 35A and 370
The manifesto begins with the promise of a Nationalist government with relentless focus on security and taking terrorism head on. It promises that BJP will try to remove Section 35A from J&K that discriminates against non-permanent residents and women of the state.
BJP guarantees a ‘Zero Tolerance policy’ to meet the end of terrorism. Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the BJP will continue to adhere to its policy of giving complete freedom to the armed forces to act as they deem necessary.
Recently J&K Governor claimed there was no threat to Art 370 & 35-A and that parties like mine were only using them to drum up fear in the elections. I hope his colleagues in the BJP send him a copy of their manifesto.
— Omar Abdullah (@OmarAbdullah) April 8, 2019
Adding to it, the BJP repeated its old view of
abolishment of Article 370. It should be noted that if the last 5 years of majority in the Lok Sabha, BJP did nothing more than shy away from building on its old promise – due to the pressure from RSS. With no remarkable efforts in the five-year tenure, BJP has shrewdly decided to copy the promise as it is from the 2014 manifesto.
India’s favourite issue – Ram Temple
There are repeat mentions and reiterations of BJP’s stand on the Ram Temple. BJP took a resolve to explore all possibilities and solidify the construction of the temple in Ayodhya within the constitutional framework. BJP has acted cautiously and not elaborated on the issue. PM Modi has made it that the party will await the court’s decision before deciding further course of action.
The Ram Temple is a subject that is sensitive and consequential enough to polarize crores of ardent Hindus. But from a political viewpoint it is at a stalemate, where no decision makes sense. Adhering to the demands of construction of a Temple in the Babri Masjid premises has big chances of inducing
BJP has in the past seen its image
tarnished when taking concrete steps in the direction. But none the less, it knows the issue is a vote-bank catalyst and has again decided to leverage it to appease the vast Hindu following that it boasts.
Talking about the Farmers – Backbone of the Indian economy
On the other hand, Indian farmers are facing an agrarian crisis for the last few years – which is a major Congress talking point in 2019.
Countering the Congress’ Nyay Scheme, the BJP promises to bring economic benefit of Rs 6,000 to all the farmers of the country. Apart from this, it promises small farmers a pension after the age of 60 years. It also promises a Kisan Credit Card for short-term agricultural loans of up to one lakh rupees for one to five years on zero percent interest.
The party also pledges to double the income of farmers by 2022, which has been a topic of discussion in the past. Rajan Prakash explained that the Modi government has announced a number of welfare schemes and programs for farmers since 2014, but truth is that their condition of is worrisome, going bad to worse.
Pension for small shopkeepers
Small businessmen have been a traditional vote-bank for the BJP. The strata were one of the biggest victims of demonetization which took more lives than the black money it brought back.
The party has tried to redeem the demonetization disaster with a first of its kind pension promise to the small business owners of the of the country after 60 years of age. BJP is hopeful this will reduce the resentment and calm pent up anger in the business class, considered BJP’s biggest vote bank, which is still reeling from demonetization and laxities in GST.
After we presented our manifesto, we held a detailed Q&A session
And immediately after BJP presented its manifesto, all of their leaders went home without even taking a single question
No answers on their 5 years?
It is this arrogance which will bring them down on May 23rd
— Ahmed Patel (@ahmedpatel) April 8, 2019
Hoax letter and a balloon of lies, says Opposition
BSP reaction on BJP manifesto pic.twitter.com/wh2Pb8sELc
— Mayawati (@Mayawati) April 8, 2019
Opposition termed BJP’s manifesto as a hoax letter and a balloon of lies. Opposition leaders sharply
criticized BJP for unfulfilled lavish promises from 2014, accusing the party of using such sky castles to gain support and publicity.
Leaders from other parties questioned the BJP about their promise of providing 20 million jobs in 2014. The unemployment rate in the country today is at a 45-year high.
Another of BJP’s 2014 promise revolved around entitling farmers to 50 percent profit from their produce. India’s farmers did a protest march in Delhi last month to bring their issue of unimproved incomes and meager price of produce in the market.
The BJP’s main promise was fight against black money, where it promised to bring back 80 lakh Crores to the country within 100 days. PM Modi in rallies had promised every Indian 15 lakhs in their bank accounts in lieu of the recovered money.
Another of BJP’s major pledges was to build 100 smart cities. However, the 2019 manifesto fails to mention the words ‘Smart City’ even once. Does that mean that the initiative is complete? Not. Its just been overlooked this time to hide the failure of the ambition.
Please J-U-D-G-E #BJP Manifesto on what’s missing there …
J-U-D-G-E, that is:
— Derek O’Brien | ডেরেক ও’ব্রায়েন (@derekobrienmp) April 8, 2019
The PM decided to give another enticing Jumla in the 2019 pledge. He said that although the manifesto promises are due in 2024, we are pursuing these goals by 2022.
Typical of what India has seen over decades
Having people believe that the BJP will fulfill these 75 resolutions in the next three years, is criminally delusional.
There have been numerous declarations from different parties in seven decades of independence where not more than a third of the promises have been achieved.
So apart from completing promises, parties are relying on a new secret mantra – Promises over unfulfilled promises!
Widely expected to remain in office, if PM Modi is unable to fulfill the ambitious promises, it won’t be a new thing. Because it happened for 60 years before Modi and happened in the five years since.
But all this is a part of politics, and shouldn’t trouble the enthusiastic voter in 2019.
- Manifesto enlists a Kisan Credit Card and pension scheme aimed at trumping the Congress’ Nyay Scheme
- BJP promised 20 million jobs in 2014 but the unemployment rate in the country hit a 45-year high in 2018
- The party aims to win the 2019 elections based on Modi’s image in the country and has made the Modi wave central to its campaign
- BJP manifesto carries promises like removal of Article 370 and resolution of the Ram Mandir issue which aim to stir support before polls