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
Declare birth anniversary of Hari Singh public holiday: Karan Singh to Guv
Senior Congress leader Karan Singh on Friday urged Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik to declare his father Hari Singh”s birth anniversary next week as a public holiday, asserting that it was due to the state”s erstwhile ruler that it became a part of India.
Singh, the former Sadar-e-Riyasat of Jammu and Kashmir, said that for many years there had been a strong demand to declare the birthday of Hari Singh as a public holiday.
“In fact, both my sons had a resolution to this effect passed in the legislative council some years ago, but so far no action has been taken. The birth anniversary is on Monday, September 23,” he said in a statement.
“Let us recall that it was due to Maharaja Hari Singh ji that Jammu and Kashmir state became a part of India when he signed the instrument of accession on October 26, 1947. Apart from that he was a progressive and a far-sighted ruler who instituted many social and economic reforms for the welfare of the people,” he said.
Singh said as far back as 1929, his father had declared all temples in the state open to Dalits.
“I urge the governor to declare this day as a public holiday,” he said
Fresh restrictions in Kashmir in view of Friday prayers
Fresh restrictions were imposed in parts of Kashmir on Friday as a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of congregational prayers, officials said.
Normal life continued to remain affected across the valley for the 47th consecutive day with markets closed and public transport off the roads, the officials said.
Restrictions under Section 144 CrPc have been imposed in few areas of the valley to maintain law and order, the officials said.
They said the curbs have been imposed in Nowhatta and adjoining areas in downtown (interior city) and Anchar area of Soura police station in Srinagar.
The restrictions have also been imposed in Kupwara and Handwara police districts and the main towns of Ganderbal, Anantnag and Bijbehara, the officials added.
Security forces have been deployed in strength in vulnerable areas in the rest of the valley, they said.
The officials said the curbs were a precautionary measure to maintain law and order in view of apprehensions that vested interests might exploit the large Friday prayer gatherings at big mosques and shrines to fuel protests.
Friday prayers have not been allowed at any of the major mosques or shrines – including Jamia Masjid in Nowhatta or Dargah Sharief in Hazratbal – in the valley for the past over a month now.
Restrictions were first imposed across Kashmir on August 5 when the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and bifurcate the state into two Union territories. The restrictions were lifted in phases from many parts of the valley.
Internet services have remained suspended across all platforms, they said. While landlines across the valley were functional, voice calls on mobile devices were working only in Kupwara and Handwara police districts of north Kashmir, they added.
The efforts of the state government to open schools have not borne fruit as parents continued to keep children at home due to apprehensions about their safety.
Most of the top-level and second rung mainstream politicians, including three former chief ministers – Farooq Abdullah, Omar Abdullah and Mehbooba Mufti, continued to be in detention or under house arrest.
While NC president Farooq Abdullah was first placed under house arrest, he was on Tuesday booked under the Public Safety Act (PSA).
His son Omar and PDP president Mehbooba Mufti were detained on the night of August 4 — hours before the Centre announced its decision to abrogate Article 370 of the Constitution and to bifurcate the state into two Union territories.
Most of the mainstream leaders, including former ministers and legislators, were also either detained or kept under house arrest, the officials said.
Ignoring protests, Gates Foundation to give Narendra Modi global award
New York: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation will be awarding the Global Gatekeepers Award to Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his leadership in India’s achievement sanitation, the organisation has announced.
“Modi is receiving an award at the Goalkeepers Global Goals Awards from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for the progress India is making in improving sanitation, as part of its drive toward achievement of the UN Sustainable Development Goals,” the Foundation said in a statement to IANS on Wednesday.
“Sanitation is a key factor in improving the health and well-being of millions of people, especially women and children,” it added.
Modi is being recognised by the foundation in New York on September 24 for the Swachh Bharat Mission of which the constructions of toilets is a key element.
A motley collection of Indian secularists, Pakistanis, activists and entertainers have opposed the award to Modi alleging he was responsible for human rights violations and for India rescinding the special status for Kashmir.
Some influential US media also published articles demanding that the Foundation cancel the award.
The publications include Foreign Policy magazine’s website, and Washington Post that is owned by Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, which has disputes with the Indian government. The Post published an opinion article by two Indian-origin lawyers.
An organisation called S Asian Philanthropy published in the Medium a letter signed by people of Indian origin and others representing various foundations and NGOs.
National Public Radio reported that a dozen demonstrators with “Stop Genocide, a project of the American human rights group Justice For All”, delivered a petition with 100,000 signatures to the Gates Foundation headquarters in Seattle protesting the award for Modi.
The radio also said that three Nobel Peace Prize winners – Shirin Ebadi of Iran, Tawakkol Abdel-Salam Karman of Yemen and Mairead Maguire of Britain – had also sent the Gates a protest letter.