Ruling BJP Treads Carefully - Eastern Mirror
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Editorial

Ruling BJP Treads Carefully

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 16, 2024 11:43 pm

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released its much-awaited 2024 general election manifesto, a vital policy blueprint that reflects a political party’s vision and approach towards governance if elected to power. Seeking a popular mandate for a third consecutive term under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the saffron party’s manifesto titled “Modi ki Guarantee” largely banks on its successful policies and the existing welfare schemes initiated over the last two terms. It highlights the government’s commitment to continue with the free ration scheme and expand the housing scheme, among several others. Having fulfilled its major promises, like the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya and the abrogation of Article 370, besides notifying the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA), it reiterates its commitment to implement the one-nation-one-election and Uniform Civil Code in the third term. It also promises to make efforts to remove the controversial Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act (AFSPA) in a phased manner in the north-eastern states, as well as work on making the region a strategic gateway for the “Act East” policy and implement the law for women’s reservations, while making no mention of the National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was met with protests. Modi, in his speech, also spoke on the need for a stable government amid the geopolitical tensions in order to boost developmental work in the country.

Unlike the manifesto of the Indian National Congress called Nyay Patra (Document for Justice), which promises big with more than 20 guarantees, including a one-year apprenticeship for students, fixation of a national minimum wage, universal health scheme, financial help to the poor and several others, which some experts opine could have an adverse effect on the fiscal health of the country, the ruling BJP has avoided populist promises this time, perhaps over the potential fiscal burden such moves could cause amid global economic uncertainty. Having ruled the country for two consecutive terms, the saffron party appears to be aware of the need to fix the loopholes in its existing welfare schemes to ensure that they benefit all the targeted sections of society. However, some may see it as “old wine in a new bottle” and expect the ruling party to be more ambitious, while the tall promises of the Congress are questionable in terms of implementation and practicality; one doesn’t want to make promises that it can’t fulfil while the other is unbothered and ambitious, as most opposition parties would. The stark contrast in the election manifestos of the two arch political rivals may not make the task of drawing a comparison easy for the citizens. But at the end of the day, the voters will have to, after considering both substance and feasibility.

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By The Editorial Team Updated: Apr 16, 2024 11:43:32 pm
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