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Lok Sabha Polls: Comparison Of BJP’s ‘Sankalp Patra’ And Congress’s ‘Nyay Patra’ Manifestos, Focusing On Uncommon Issues

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New Delhi: As the Lok Sabha elections approach, the Congress party and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have released their respective manifestos, known as ‘Nyay Patra’ and ‘Sankalp Patra’. These documents outline each party’s vision and commitments for India’s future.

The manifesto was unveiled in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and party President JP Nadda.

The ‘Nyay Patra’ by Congress focuses on social justice, economic revival, and strengthening democratic institutions, while the ‘Sankalp Patra’ by the BJP emphasizes infrastructure development, national security, and economic growth. As voters evaluate their choices, these manifestos provide crucial insights into the parties’ proposed policies and initiatives for shaping India’s trajectory in the upcoming years.

While both parties’ manifestos share several common pledges, there are also distinct promises that set them apart. Here are some commitments that are unique to each party’s manifesto.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)

Making India A Global Manufacturing Hub:

  • Based on the principles of PM-Gatishakti, BJP party said government under it will develop industrial cities in different industrial corridors for balanced regional development.
  • “This shall promote industrialisation of backward regions of the country,” it said.
  • Further, it will launch an initiative to foster balanced regional development across all districts of the country. Brand, promotion and exports of One District One Product (ODOP) products will be encouraged under the initiative.
  • In its manifesto, the party promises to promote manufacturing, research, and development in the railway sector to make the country a leading global railway manufacturing hub. Aiming to make India a global aviation manufacturing and MRO hub, BJP said it will will bring a commercial aircraft manufacturing ecosystem.

United Nations Security Council’s Permanent Membership:

  • In its manifesto, the BJP stated, “We are committed to seeking permanent membership in the UN Security Council to elevate Bharat’s position in global decision making.”
  • The BJP has also promised that the government will further expand the network of missions and diplomats to pursue the global interests that have been secured by India’s unprecedented rise. The party has announced that it will fortify the connection with Indian diaspora and provide “unwavering support” during the times of need.

Uniform Civil Code Implementation:

  • The BJP in its manifesto has vowed to implement the Union Civil Code (UCC). The party said that women will not get equal rights until a common legal code is implemented.
  • BJP in its manifesto said, “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.”

Peace In The North-East:

  • The party said that it will continue its effective efforts to establish peace in the North-East and phase out the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act.
  • The party also promised 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.
  • Additionally, BJP promised to build ‘sarovars’ to manage floods in the Northeast.

Bullet Train:

  • At the manifesto launch event, PM Modi announced plans to extend the reach of Vande Bharat trains across India. He revealed three new models of Vande Bharat trains: Sleeper, Chaircar, and Metro.
  • Modi highlighted the progress of the Ahmedabad-Mumbai Bullet Train project, nearing completion. He further stated that Bullet Trains would be introduced in North, South, and Eastern India, with preliminary survey work set to begin soon.

Congress

Caste Census:

  • The Congress manifesto promises to conduct a nation-wide Socio-Economic and Caste Census, intended to provide an accurate enumeration of castes and sub-castes along with their socio-economic conditions.
  • Additionally, the party pledges to implement a 10 per cent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) across all castes and communities, without discrimination.

Unemployment:

  • For the unemployed youth, the Congress said that it will abolish application fees for government examinations and government posts.
  • The Congress in its manifesto said, due to widespread unemployment, as a one-time measure of relief, the amount due including unpaid interest as on March 15, 2024 in respect of all student educational loans will be written off and the banks will be compensated by the government.

Media Independence And Combating Fake News:

  • The Congress party has pledged to safeguard the independence of journalism by introducing laws aimed at protecting journalists from coercive actions by the State. This commitment entails limiting the government’s authority to surveil journalists, seize their devices, and reveal their sources.
  • Additionally, the party promises to enact legislation to combat media monopolies, cross-ownership, and undue influence exerted by business entities over the media.
  • Under the proposed laws, all media organisations, regardless of their size, will be mandated to disclose their ownership structures, cross-holdings, revenue sources, and other relevant information through their websites.
  • The manifesto highlights concerns over various proposed laws, such as the Broadcasting Services (Regulation) Bill, 2023, the Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, and the Press and Registration of Periodicals Act, 2023, which are perceived to grant excessive censorship powers to the government.
  • To combat fake news and paid news, the Congress said that it will amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to empower the Council to deal with the this menace.

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