In its election manifesto for 2017 Assembly polls campaign, Bhartiya Janata Party has vowed to form next government by securing two-third majority on its main slogan- “Parivartan Layege Kamal Khilayege” (Will bring change by blossoming Lotus). BJP President Amit Shah reiterated party’s core commitments relating to Ram Temple, Triple Talaq, Hindu exodus in the western UP and shutting down all illegal and mechanical slaughterhouses in UP while releasing manifesto.
Shah brought back the outcry for a Ram temple at Ayodhya into sharper focus and asserted to push for a quicker Constitutional resolution of the dispute and told a crowded press conference that the saffron issue could be pursued along with development. He also raked up the issue of reported Hindu exodus from restive Kairana, without naming the west UP town. He said that BJP would form a department which would put a check on the exodus.
The BJP chief promised farm loan waivers, laptops with free data, free education for girls up to graduation and boys up to Class XII. BJP’s manifesto also focuses on better law and order, corruption, illegal mining and land grabbing and promises to establish a separate task forces to handle such complaints.
BJP also seemed keen to shore up its flanks against populist themes such as loan waivers and clearance of sugar cane dues promised by Congress leader Rahul Gandhi.
The manifesto promises to put all criminals, who are absconding after being given parole, behind bars within 45 days if BJP government is formed in the state. To check corruption, it promises a special helpline in the CM’s office while the task force too will be directly under the CMO.
While promising loan waiver to farmers, the manifesto made a special mention of plight of sugarcane farmers, promising to clear due to the tune of 6,000 crore within three months.
The manifesto promises a start-up venture capital fund worth 1,000 crore to “encourage youth to be self-reliant“. Every college and university will get free Wi-Fi and 10 new international level universities will be set up. It includes promising 500-crore Baba Saheb Ambedkar scholarship fund for poor students pursuing higher studies. With a special focus on SCs and STs, the manifesto promises 25 special courts to expedite cases under the SC-ST Prevention of Atrocities Act. BJP also promises to provide subsidised electricity to the poor for the first hundred units, the rebate being 3 per unit.
Focusing on the two underprivileged regions of UP Bundelkhand and Purvanchal the manifesto promises two “development boards“. A road corridor connecting Mathura-Varanasi-Jhansi-Gorakhpur has been promised. The manifesto promises filling up of a staggering 1.5 lakh vacancies in the police department.
Refuting the charge that BJP has accommodated many “dynastic” claimants, Shah said the dynasty principle applied to leadership positions. “If Rahul Gandhi is married and blessed with a child, he or she would be a born potential CM and Prime Minister… that is what is meant by “parivarwad,” he said, adding that the same applied to Samajwadi Party. Samajwadi Party, Congress and BSP all have slammed the move of BJP saying it was an attempt at religious polarisation. Most large slaughterhouses in the state are located in western UP, and are among the highest revenue generators for the state and the country.
SP’s chief spokesperson Rajendra Chaudhary said the Centre should first ban beef export and then talk about closing slaughterhouses. “Beef export has increased sharply since the BJP-led coalition has come to power in India.”
Congress’s UP media cell chairman Satyadev Tripathi critisised double speak of BJP and said, “Meat exports have seen the sharpest increase under Modi government. There is lot of difference between what they say and do. This is also nothing but a deliberate and vile attempt by the BJP to divide people on religious lines.”
BSP supremo Mayawati questioned the morality of BJP for issuing manifesto as it failed to fulfill one fourth of its 2014 manifesto. Terming it empty, eyewash and airy she apprehended that if BJP comes to power it will take away the reservation from Dalits and downtrodden people.