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BJP’s ‘Modi-festo’ echoes 2014 promise

BJP’s ‘Modi-festo’ echoes 2014 promise

He has promised to make people’s ambitions his mission, and has pledged to build on the performance of his government in the past 10 years.

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Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 00:08 IST
Last Updated : 16 April 2024, 00:08 IST
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It is Narendra Modi who is overwhelmingly present all over the BJP’s manifesto for the Lok Sabha election, not the party as such. It is named Modi ki Guarantee. He has promised to make people’s ambitions his mission, and has pledged to build on the performance of his government in the past 10 years.

Reforms like the introduction of the GST and decisions like the scrapping of Article 370 have been mentioned. The manifesto has highlighted infrastructure-building and welfare schemes related to housing, health, and free rations, and offers something to every section of society. The party is certain that it will come back to power, and the promises have extended to even longer periods than the five years of the next government.  

The manifesto reaffirms the party’s core issues like the Uniform Civil Code and controversial matters like One Nation, One Election. It promises bullet trains and Vande Bharat trains.

Other promises include efforts to host the Olympics, piped gas supply for all, three crore houses for the poor, and schemes for women. The BJP has claimed that its government has taken the economy from the 10th largest in the world to the fifth largest. Manifestos and governments are judged not by their promises but by the implementation of the promises, and so the BJP’s claims have come under scrutiny on many counts. 

The Opposition has criticised it as a jumla manifesto and pointed out that there are no references to the jobs situation and inflation. It is also pointed out that the average GDP growth during Modi’s 10 years has been less than that during Manmohan Singh’s 10 years.

Promises about providing jobs and doubling farmers’ incomes have not been fulfilled. Yet, now, parties do not make promises but provide ‘guarantees’.

A comparison of the BJP and Congress manifestos makes it apparent that in 2024, the two parties are back to 2014 – the BJP has again promised to ensure economic growth, especially by encouraging manufacturing in the semiconductor, electric vehicle industries, etc., and more funds for start-ups, thus continuing to rely on its trickle-down economic agenda; the Congress has again given guarantees of more welfare measures, pursuing the UPA era’s rights-based agenda that gave rise to the NREGA, Food Security Act, etc. It is well recognised that while India has seen GDP growth in the last 10 years, it has been the continuation of welfare measures like NGREGS and free food grains for 80 crore people that has helped the vast masses of the poor to survive in an India in which the gap between rich and poor has widened alarmingly.

Opposition parties have also said that the increasing social and political polarisation in the country and the pressures on democracy should be taken into consideration when the Modi government’s performance is judged. But the Opposition has a challenge in countering the BJP, which has a better communication machinery. 

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