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Ram Mandir, Uniform Civil Code, Article 370, Sabarimala, Citizenship Bill feature in BJP’s 2019 manifesto

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he Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday released its Lok Sabha election manifesto in presence of PM Narendra Modi. Top BJP leaders including party president Amit Shah, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley were also present at the event.

In the 48-page manifesto, the BJP has laid out its vision in the field of agriculture, education, and robust nationalism for the next five years.

Presenting the BJP manifesto, Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh said that the BJP formed the Lok Sabha election manifesto after constituting a committee headed by Rajnath Singh himself and 12 other sub-committees.

 

“The manifesto is a vision document of 130 crore people of the country. We approached the people with 300 raths, Mann ki Baat programmes, and social media to consult them over the manifesto,” Rajnath Singh said.

The BJP manifesto mentions the scrapping of the Article 370 which gives autonomous status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir.

“In the last five years, we have made all necessary efforts to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir through decisive actions…We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370,” the manifesto reads.

The BJP has also promised to scrap Article 35A which provides special rights and privileges to the permanent residents of Jammu and Kashmir.

“We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is
discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir. We believe
that Article 35A is an obstacle in the development of the state. We will take all steps to ensure a safe
and peaceful environment for all residents of the state,” the BJP manifesto reads.

The BJP Lok Sabha election manifesto promises to hold simultaneous elections for Parliament, State assemblies and local bodies to reduce expenditure.

“We are committed to the idea of simultaneous elections for Parliament, State assemblies and local bodies to reduce expenditure, ensure efficient utilisation of government resources and security forces and for effective policy planning,” the manifesto reads.

The BJP manifesto also talks about a single voter list to avoid confusion so that everyone gets a chance to exercise their right to vote for all public bodies.

“In order to ensure that every citizen gets the right to exercise his/her franchise for all public bodies and to avoid confusion created by multiple voter lists, we will strive to ensure a common voter list for all elections,” the manifesto reads.

The BJP manifesto also has a clause reserved for the Ram Mandir and promises to construct the Ram Mandir within the framework of the Constitution.

“We reiterate our stand on Ram Mandir. We will explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and all necessary efforts to facilitate the expeditious construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” the BJP manifesto reads.

For the small trader, the BJP manifesto promises to establish National Traders’ Welfare Board and create a National Policy for Retail Trade for the growth of retail businesses.

To protect the interests of small traders, the BJP manifesto promises to provide an accident insurance of 10 lakh rupees to all traders registered under GST.

Citizenship Amendment Bill, Uniform Civil Code, doubling farm income

Rajnath Singh who headed the committee to form the manifesto called it a “visionary, practical document.” Citizenship Amendment Bill is also present in the manifesto. “We will try to reach consensus and will pass this bill. We, however, do not wish to target any cultural or linguistic group. We will preserve the identity of the states” Uniform Civil Code, Ram Mandir, doubling farm income by 2022 is also present in the document. “We have our full commitment on Uniform Civil Code,” Rajnath Singh said. 

As far as Ram Mandir is concerned, we reiterate the promise made in the last elections. We will weigh all our option & we will try that the Ram Mandir be built as soon as possible.

We will provide short-term new agriculture loans up to Rs. 1 lakh at a 0% interest rate for 1-5 years on the condition of prompt repayment of the principal amount.

Women’s welfare and development will be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and the BJP is committed to 33% reservation in parliament and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment


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Pakistan exporting ‘terror’, stifling women’s voices for narrow political gains: India at UNSC

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UNITED NATIONS: India lashed out at Pakistan for raising the issue of women’s rights in Kashmir in the UN Security Council, saying the country represents a system that has been exporting militancy and “regressive” extremist ideologies and “stifling” women’s voices for narrow political gains.

India’s strong response came after Pakistan’s outgoing UN envoy Maleeha Lodhi commented on the situation in Kashmir, revocation of Article 370 and women’s rights in the Valley during the debate on October 29.

“As everyone today focuses on collective action, one delegation rhetorically regurgitates about women’s rights in my country,” First Secretary in India’s Permanent Mission to the UN Paulomi Tripathi said Monday at a Security Council open debate on Women, Peace and Security.

 

Without naming Pakistan, Tripathi said the delegation “represents a system that has been exporting terrorism and regressive extremist ideologies, and stifling women’s voices for narrow political gains. This has devastated lives of generations of women and their families, in our region and beyond.”

Alluding to Islamabad’s habit of raking up the Kashmir issue at various UN forums and committees, Tripathi said the country habitually makes baseless allegations without any relevance to the agenda under consideration and this has “become a staple for this delegation.”

She referred to Lodhi’s comments on Jammu and Kashmir during the October 29 debate as well as during a previous debate on the “Situation in the Middle East, including the Palestinian question”.

Asserting that India firmly rejects the baseless allegations, Tripathi said “the Council has not paid attention to such deceitful narratives in the past, and we are confident that the Council will continue to do so, to ensure that its agenda is not used as a ploy for furthering territorial ambitions.”

In her remarks to the debate, Tripathi underscored that violence against women and girls perpetrated by terrorists remain rampant and subjugation of women in public and in private spheres continue across situations that are on the agenda of the Council.

“It is important that the Council strives to effectively integrate women, peace and security considerations into sanctions regimes, including by listing terrorist entities involved in violence against women in armed conflicts,” she said.

Further, Tripathi highlighted the positive impacts of greater participation of women in UN peacekeeping but voiced concern that women make up only 4.2 per cent of military personnel in UN peacekeeping missions.

“We ought to encourage participation of all women units to achieve the set targets in this regard,” she said.

Tripathi pointed out that a trend in which in order to accommodate those who cannot fulfill the commitments of providing all women units to peacekeeping missions, mixed units are being given preference by diluting the policy frameworks.

“If this continues, we possibly cannot achieve the set targets,” she said as she added that India remains committed to increasing the number of women peacekeepers and has deployed a Female Engagement Team in UN Organisation Stabilisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUSCO) earlier this year.

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MeT predicts rains,snowfall from Nov 6 to 8 in J&K

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Jammu, Nov 5 : The weather department on Tuesday predicted widespread moderate to heavy snowfall and rains in the hills and plains of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh union territories for three days starting from Wednesday.

The weather system is likely to cause temporary disruptions on surface transport especially over passes like Zojila, Srinagar-Jammu, Leh-Manali Highway, Mughal Road due to landslides, low temperature and heavy snowfall.

‘There is an active Western Disturbance. Its interaction with Cyclone MAHA (currently lying over East central Arabian sea) is most likely to cause widespread moderate to heavy snowfall and rain in plains of Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh during 6th to 8th November’, Director, State Met department, Sonam Lotus said.

 

Divisional Commissioner, Kashmir, Baseer Ahmad Khan on Monday chaired a meeting of officers to review the position of winter stocks of food grains and other essential commodities in Ladakh and Kashmir division.

Besides, Deputy Commissioner Leh and officials of District Administration, Kargil attended the meeting through video conferencing.

Directing officials to ensure adequate stocks of commodities, the division commissioner said people in these areas should not face any difficulty during winter months.

The meeting was informed that all essential commodities for winter including food grains, fire wood, LPG, medicine and other items have been stocked

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EU MPs in Kashmir say Article 370 internal issue, stand by India in fight against ‘terror’

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Srinagar, October 30: Terming Article 370 an internal issue of India, EU parliamentarians visiting Jammu and Kashmir on Wednesday said they stand by the country in its fight against global terrorism.

Addressing a press conference on the last day of their two-day visit to the Valley, the group of 23 members of European Parliament also condemned the killing of five labourers from West Bengal on Tuesday.

“If we talk about Article 370 it is India’s internal matter. What concerns us is terrorism which is a global menace and we should stand with India in fighting it. There was an unfortunate incident of killing of five innocent labourers. We condemn it,” said Henri Malosse from France.

 

He said the team got a briefing from the army and police as well as young activists and exchanged “ideas of peace”.

Newton Dunn from the UK described the visit, aimed at getting a first-hand assessment of the situation after the revocation of the state’s special status under Article 370, as an “eye-opener”.

“We belong to a place Europe which is peaceful after years of fighting. And we want to see India becoming the most peaceful country in the world. And for that we need to stand by India in its fight against global terrorism. This visit has been an eye opener and we would definitely advocate what we have seen on ground zero,” he told reporters.

The delegation is the first high-level foreign visit to Kashmir after the August 5 decision of the Centre to revoke the state’s special status and bifurcate it into two union territories, Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. Wednesday is the last day of Jammu and Kashmir as a state.

According to MEP from Poland Ryszard Czarnecki, “The international media coverage seems biased”.

“Once we go back to our countries we will inform them of what we saw,” he said.

Thierry Mariani, also from France, told the media he had been to India many times and this visit was not to interfere in the internal matter of India but to get a first hand knowledge of the ground

situation in Kashmir.

“Militants can destroy a country. I have been to Afghanistan and Syria and I have seen what terrorism has done. We stand with India in its fight against terrorism,” he said.

“By calling us fascists, our image has been tarnished. It’s better that one should know about us properly before tarnishing our image,” he added, referring to some media reports.

The team originally comprised 27 parliamentarians, many from extreme right or right wing parties, but four did not travel to Kashmir and have reportedly returned to their respective countries,

officials said without divulging any reason.

The team arrived here on Tuesday to a complete shutdown, stone pelting and clashes between people and security forces in several parts of the city and the Valley.

On Monday, the MPs met Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Delhi.

While welcoming the MPs to India, he expressed “the hope that they have a fruitful visit to various parts of the country, including to Jammu and Kashmir”.

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