LS polls: BJP manifesto focuses on UCC implementation, CAA

The party released its "Sankalp Patra" on Sunday at its headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

New Delhi: In its election manifesto – ‘Sankalp Patra’, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has vowed to implement the Union Civil Code (UCC), and maintain peace in the Northeast, among other key poll promises.

The BJP also promised that it will implement the Citizenship Amendment Act and confer citizenship to all eligible people.

The party released its “Sankalp Patra” on Sunday at its headquarters in New Delhi in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

MS Education Academy

The party said that women will not get equal rights until a common legal code is implemented.

“Article 44 of the Constitution lists the Uniform Civil Code as one of the Directive Principles of State Policy. BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time Bharat adopts a Uniform Civil Code, that protects the rights of all women, and the BJP reiterates its stand to draw a Uniform Civil Code, drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with modern times,” the BJP said in its manifesto.

UCC is contemplated as a common set of laws for citizens governing personal matters such as marriage, divorce, inheritance, and adoption, irrespective of religion, sex, gender or caste.

Notably, Uttarakhand became the first state in India to implement UCC earlier this year.

On North East

The party also said that it will continue its effective efforts to establish peace in the North-East and phase out the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.

“We will continue our efforts to address the issues in the disturbed areas and remove AFSPA in a phased manner. We will further work towards the resolution of inter-state border disputes amongst Northeastern states through sustained efforts,” the party said in its manifesto.

Last year, violence rupted in one of the Northeast states- Manipur after indigenous communities held a rally to protest against demands by the main ethnic group in the state for tribal status.

Notably, the AFSPA Act empowers the governor of the state or administrator of Union territory or the Centre to issue an official notification concerning disturbed areas, after which the central government has the authority to send in armed forces for civilian aid.

The party further said that it will work to leverage the Northeast as a strategic gateway for Bharat’s Act East Policy, ensuring connectivity, education, health, economic development and security.
BJP also promised to build ‘sarovars’ to manage floods in the Northeast.

“We will ensure flood management in the Northeast by conducting advanced satellite imagery to identify places where big reservoirs can be constructed to store excess waters according to topography, which will be used for irrigation, and organising water sports, among others,” it added.

On paper leaks

The party has also promised to implement laws to prevent paper leaks and conduct transparent public exams.

“We have already enacted a strict law to stop misconduct in recruitment exams across the country. We will strictly implement this law to ensure strict punishment for those playing with the future of our youth. We have set an example by conducting recruitment exams in a transparent manner and recruiting lakhs of youth for government jobs. We will continue to fill the government vacancies in a time-bound and transparent manner. We will also extend the central government capacity to states that request support in conducting recruitment examinations,” the party said.

The manifesto launched by BJP featured India’s Olympics bid in 2036 and the implementation of National Education Policy 2020 among other promises.

“Young citizens form an essential pillar of our commitment towards building a Viksit Bharat. Our vision is to build a Viksit Bharat where young citizens can fully realise their potential. We will develop an integrated education framework under the NEP, to ensure young citizens have the opportunity to earn while they learn. We guarantee high-quality education, world-class sports facilities, employment and entrepreneurial opportunities to all young citizens through the NEP and other programmes,” the party added.

Here are the key highlights of the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) “Sankalp Patra” for the 2024 parliamentary polls:

* Free ration for the poor for the next five years under the Prime Minister Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana.

* The party will continue to provide free and quality healthcare services of up to Rs 5 lakh to poor families under the Ayushman Bharat scheme.

* Free electricity to poor households under the Prime Minister Surya Ghar Muft Bijli Yojana.

* Efforts to empower three crore rural women to become “Lakhpati Didis”.

* Integration of women self-help groups (SHGs) with the service sector, enhancing market access for women SHG enterprises:

Ensuring development of infrastructure, such as working women’s hostels and creches, with a specific focus on locations near industrial and commercial centres to facilitate increased participation of women in the workforce.

Expansion of the existing health services, focusing on prevention and reduction of anaemia, breast cancer, cervical cancer and osteoporosis, ensuring a healthy life for women.

Launching a focused initiative to eliminate cervical cancer.

Implementation of the Nari Shakti Vandan Adhiniyam to ensure representation of women in Parliament and the state legislatures.

* A transparent government recruitment system.

* Enactment of a law to prevent paper leaks.

* Expansion of the Ayushman Bharat Yojana to cover senior citizens and provide them access to free and quality healthcare. Delivery of government services at doorsteps to ensure seamless access to social security benefits and other essential government services for senior citizens by leveraging the extensive reach and reliability of the postal and digital network.

* Strengthening the Prime Minister Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme to provide sustained financial support to farmers.

* Strengthening the Prime Minister Fasal Bima Yojana through more technological interventions to ensure speedy and more accurate assessment, faster payouts and quicker grievance resolution.

* Increasing the minimum support price (MSP) for crops.

* Launching the Krishi Infrastructure Mission for integrated planning and coordinated implementation of agri-infrastructure projects like storage facilities, irrigation, grading and sorting units, cold-storage facilities and food processing.

* Expansion of irrigation facilities, launching technology-enabled irrigation initiatives to implement cutting-edge technology for efficient water management.

* Launching an indigenous “Bharat Krishi” satellite for farm-related activities like crop forecasting, pesticide application, irrigation, soil health and weather forecasting.

* A periodic review of the national floor-level minimum wages.

* Inclusion of autorickshaw, taxi, truck drivers and other drivers in all social security schemes.

* Empowerment of small traders and MSMEs through the Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC) to help them expand their businesses using technology.

* A focused approach for tribal healthcare, measures to eliminate malnutrition among tribal children and providing comprehensive healthcare services in tribal areas on a mission mode.

* Measures to eliminate sickle-cell anaemia.

* “Modi ki Guarantee” for a secure and prosperous Bharat.

* Robust infrastructure along the borders, technological solutions on the fenced portions to make fencing smarter.

* Implementing the Citizenship (Amendment) Act (CAA).

* Making India the third-largest economy in the world.

* Expansion of employment opportunities.

* Measures to make India a global manufacturing hub in various sectors, including electronics, by 2030.

* “Modi ki Guarantee” on good governance.

* Bringing a Uniform Civil Code.

* Making “One Nation, One Election” a reality.

* Quality education, establishing new institutions of higher learning.

* Balanced regional development, maintaining peace in the northeast.

* Resolution of inter-state border disputes among the northeastern states through sustained efforts.

The BJP had appointed a manifesto committee headed by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh that met twice to deliberate on its contents after the party had launched multiple exercises, including massive campaigns across the country to seek people’s suggestions before the release of the ‘Sankalp Patra’.

The BJP received over 1.5 million suggestions for its manifesto, including more than 400,000 through the NaMo app and over 1.1 million through videos.

The Lok Sabha polls in India are scheduled to take place from April 19, 2024, to June 1, 2024, to choose the 543 representatives for the 18th Lok Sabha. These elections will be conducted over seven phases, with the outcome being declared on June 4.

(With excerpts from agencies)

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