‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ & No Doles for BJP; Caste & Cash for Congress | Decoding 2 Lok Sabha Poll Manifestos

‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ & No Doles for BJP; Caste & Cash for Congress | Decoding 2 Lok Sabha Poll Manifestos

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Caste and cash was the highlight of the Congress manifesto for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, but the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has not taken that route in its manifesto, steering clear of any cash freebies and focusing on ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’.

From its cover page to various chapters, ‘Modi Ki Guarantee’ finds prominent mention, making it clear that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his credibility is the BJP’s biggest calling card in the 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The BJP’s manifesto carries a full record of ‘10 years of Good Governance and Vikas’ and essentially reinforces the point that the party had fulfilled its major promises made five years ago – the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir and construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya.

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The BJP has cited this to say that in the next term, it will fulfill the two unfinished agendas which it had mentioned in 2019 – One Nation, One Election come 2029, and the Uniform Civil Code (UCC). The contentious National Register of Citizens (NRC) does not find mention in this BJP manifesto, after the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) has come into effect. In 2019, the BJP had said it would implement the NRC in a phased manner. This matter, however, has not been highlighted.

The Congress had promised a caste census and Rs 1 lakh a year to poor family in the country. The BJP, however, sent out a message that its welfare schemes have reached all castes and religions – a subtle message was sent as various common beneficiaries were chosen by the BJP to receive first copies of the manifesto from the Prime Minister on the stage. The Prime Minister also said that the government’s ‘Lakhpati Didi Yojana’ will be extended from one crore to three crore beneficiaries.

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The focus on women continued as the PM said affordable piped gas would be taken to households, similar to the subsidised LPG cylinders in the past 10 years under the Ujjwala scheme. A major outreach to senior citizens by the BJP has caught the eye too – with PM saying every person above 70 years in the country will be covered by free medical insurance of up to Rs 5 lakh under the Ayushman Bharat Yojana. There are projected to be nearly five crore such senior citizens in India.

While the Congress has focussed on unemployment and promised thousands of jobs, the BJP has focussed on investment in infrastructure for employment growth and making India a global manufacturing hub.

An important pitch for “promoting the entrepreneurial spirit” also been made by the BJP through its promise of doubling the loan amount under Mudra Yojana from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, after the scheme has seen a good uptake in the past five years among the youth.

The BJP has also not fallen prey to the opposition’s favourite freebie of free electricity for domestic consumers in various states such as Delhi, and has taken a rather more pragmatic approach towards the same goal through promoting the PM Surya Ghar Bijli Yojana. Modi said that by installing solar rooftops under the scheme, not only will people be able to produce their own electricity, but even sell the surplus to the government, and also contribute to renewable energy goals of the country.

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