The BJP released its Sankalp Patra today. It was a comprehensive document aimed at strengthening the country and making ours a developed economy. Let’s compare BJP’s manifesto with Congress’s on some of the most crucial points.
Congress promised to review AFSPA in Kashmir which gives special powers to our forces; talked of reducing troops inside Kashmir and handing over the security of the state entirely to the police; and to have unconditional talks with separatist leaders who speak the language of Pakistan.
BJP has vowed to continue its policy of zero tolerance toward terrorism. It has promised to continue fast-tracking of acquisition and production of weapons for the forces. Similarly, the BJP has talked of ending illegal infiltration and implementing the NRC. A major statement was that it’ll end Left Wing Extremism in the next 5 years. The party has reiterated its commitment to removing both article 370 and 35A to ensure deeper integration of Kashmir with India.
Congress promised to introduce NYAY under which Rs 72,000/year will be transferred to the poorest 20% households. This money will most likely be obtained by taxing the middle-class more which one of its people spoke about on television. Other than this the Congress spoke of introducing a separate farmer budget (god knows how that’ll help the farmers!).
BJP will expand the PM Kisan yojana to all farmers, and launch a pension scheme for all small and marginal farmers so as to ensure social security to them on reaching 60 years of age. Agriculture loans up to ₹ 1 lakh at 0% interest rate will be provided for 1-5 years. By 2022 every one will be given a house; by 2024 every household will have a piped water connection; and all houses will be given LPG connections, toilets and bank accounts.
Congress has said that it will simplify GST with a single moderate rate of tax. It obviously isn’t going to be 5%. If it is even 12% then the essential commodities such as wheat and rice on which we aren’t paying any taxes at the moment will be taxed. Imagine the kind of burden it’ll put on the poor and lower-middle class.
BJP on the other hand has said that it’ll continue to simplify GST which means the process will ease up further and the rates of many commodities may be reduced as well. The party has also said that it will reduce the burden of taxes on the middle class.
Pollution is one of the biggest threats to the common Indian in the coming years. Congress has talked in very vague terms on the issue. It has said that it will strengthen the National Clean Air Programme to tackle the problem of pollution, and that emissions standards will be set.
Whereas BJP has said this about the grave problem: “We have evolved technologically better strategies and devices to map the level of pollution in cities and rivers and have taken effective steps to reduce the level of pollution in major cities, including the national capital. We will convert the National Clean Air Plan into a Mission and we will focus on 102 most polluted cities in the country. Through concerted action, we will reduce the level of pollution in each of the mission cities by at least 35% over the next five years.” The party highlights a clear goal.
Congress has promised to augment length of national highways, modernize railways, formulate a policy on ‘clean energy’, and enhance availability of electricity. There is not a single pointed promise made. All statements are very generalized and present no goals. It also says that all gram panchayats will be connected with optical fibre network by 2021. Congress had promised the same but could take internet to just 59 panchayats. It was the Modi government who took the same to over one lakh GPs.
BJP has said that everyone will have a house by 2022; electrification will be 100%; the length of highways will be doubled in the next five years; achieve 175 GW of renewable energy; increase number of operational airports to 150; and increase port capacity to 2,500 MTPA. The difference between the promises of the two parties is pretty clear.
In steps to reduce corruption, Congress has stated that it will review the Rafale Deal and other deals entered by the BJP government (if this isn’t political vendetta then what it?!), and that circumstances under which scamsters left India will be scrutinized and appropriate action will be taken. Quite funny considering these very scamsters were looting the country under your aegis before 2014.
BJP has said that it’ll continue to crackdown on Benami properties and illegal foreign bank accounts, and expedite actions to bring fugitive economic offenders back to India and prosecute them for their crimes.
These were some of the major differences between the intention, commitment and vision of the two parties. BJP is talking about making the poor able enough to fight poverty while the Congress is trying to make them dependent on doles so that they remain a loyal votebank.
Some other crucial commitments made by the BJP in its manifesto –
- 25 lakh crore investment in rural-agri sector
- 100% disposal of liquid waste water & reuse of waste water
- Accident insurance of 10 lakh to all traders registered under GST
- Provision of collateral-free credit up to 50 lakh for entrepreneurs
- 50 cities to have metros
- 100 Innovation Zones in Urban Local Bodies
- Conversion of all rail tracks to broad gauge by 2022
- Electrification of all railway tracks by 2022
- Expand beneficiaries of Mudra yojana up to 30 crore
- Setting up of National Institutes of Teachers’ to provide 4-year courses to set standards of teaching
- Reduce malnutrition by at least 10%
- Ensure every Indian banking facility within a radius of 5 km
- Explore all possibilities and take necessary steps to facilitate the expeditious construction of Ram Mandir
- Higher interest rates on FD by divyangs
- Increase doctor-population ratio to 1:1400
- Supply of piped cooking gas in major Tier 1 and 2 cities
An author and avid reader, Geopolitics and defence are his favorite topics of discussion. He recently launched his second book a detailed description of Prime Minister Modi’s work titled ‘Rebuilding India’, His first book was ‘A Medley of Short Stories’. You can reach him out on his Twitter id @Vinayak_Jain