By Rakesh Choudhary
On Saturday, The Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) released its manifesto for the upcoming Uttar Pradesh assembly election to be held in seven phases between the months of February and March.
Party President Amit Shah released the manifesto which has been named ‘Lok Kalyan Sankalp Patra’; meaning Pledge for People’s Welfare. Divided into 9 sankalps (pledges), the manifesto tries to address core welfare issues of the State through each sankalp.
The Manifesto tries to reach out to every section of the population – farmers, agricultural labourers, women and students through various freebies and welfare schemes.
[su_pullquote]In an effort to lure farmers, the party promised a fund of Rs. 150 Crores for agricultural development, a complete loan waiver for small farmers and zero interest loans for farmers and labourers in the informal sector.[/su_pullquote]
In an effort to lure farmers, the party promised a fund of Rs. 150 Crores for agricultural development. They have also assured a complete loan waiver for small farmers and zero interest loans for farmers and labourers in the informal sector. Landless workers have been promised an insurance cover of Rs. 2 Lakhs. A 20,000 Crore Farmers’ Irrigation Fund will be established to boost irrigation facilities. Payment related issues of Sugarcane farmers are also being addressed. The Party will clear all dues of sugarcane farmers within 120 days of coming to power. It has also promised to come up with a system to settle farmers’ payments within 14 days of sales.
BJP seems set to give a hard time to the ruling party on the issue of law & order and women safety during election campaigns. With the pledge of ‘No Gunda Raj, No Corruption’, the party promises to bring all criminals, including those on parole, back to jail within 45 days of coming to power. FIRs will be filed within 24 hours of a person filing a complaint without any caste bias. Task forces will be set-up to tackle land and illegal mining mafias.
Education also constitutes one of the pledges of the manifesto. Students have been promised free laptops, free 1 GB internet data under the Swami Vivekanand Yuva Internet Yojana, free WiFi in universities and free education till 12th for boys and till graduation for girls.
Return of the Hindutva ideology
[su_pullquote align=”right”]In the press conference held while releasing the poll manifesto, Amit Shah pledged to work towards the construction of the Ram Temple within constitutional frameworks.[/su_pullquote]
The time tested Hindutva agenda makes a comeback in the election manifesto. This move is not surprising given the backdrop of electoral alliance between the Samajwadi Party (SP) and the Congress to consolidate Muslim votes. BJP’s historical performance in 2014 Lok Sabha election was attributed to its successful strategy of religious polarization of Hindu votes against divided minority votes between SP and Congress.
A grand old sensitive issue of the Ram Temple finds a mention in the manifesto albeit in a constrained manner. In the press conference held while releasing the poll manifesto, Amit Shah pledged to work towards the construction of the Ram Temple within constitutional frameworks.
The Party also promises to consult Muslim women on Triple Talaq and accordingly pursue this case in the Supreme Court. Triple Talaq has been a contentious issue with Islamic clerics defending it under the pretext of freedom of religion. On the other hand, Women`s Rights Activists see this as violation of fundamental rights. Currently, the issue is being heard by the Supreme Court of India.Among other things, preservation of cows is also a part of BJP’s manifesto | Photo Courtesy: ScoopWhoop
The preservation of cows also finds a place of prominence in the manifesto. In an effort to increase the livestock count, cows will be povided to landless farmers under the Godhan Scheme. Illegal abattoirs will be shut down and mechanized abattoirs will be banned with immediate effect.
The BJP has been out of power in India’s largest state for last 15 years. In the 2012 assembly election, it could only win 47 out of 403 seats. With the hope of repeating its performance of the 2014 Lok Sabha election wherein party won 71 out 0f 80 seats in the state, it has gone all out to appease different sections through its election manifesto.
Featured Image: Patrika
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