Manifestos are amongst the best traditions of a democracy. Reflecting the ideals and promises of a political party, a manifesto gives a vision for the future which can be realised through a partnership of the party’s leadership and the people. Despite the lofty promises made in a manifesto, people do not read it in isolation but relate it to the party’s performance in the past. Promises can be made, but they have to be delivered in order to win the trust of the people. The Bharatiya Janata Party, under the dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, strongly believes that this sacred document should be a “Sankalp Patra” wherein the commitments made are visionary yet implementable.
This time too we have presented our Sankalp Patra to the people where we have promised a “Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat”, implying a “Committed India and a Strong India”. However, this effort marks a major shift in the way manifestos are prepared, by connecting with over six crore people, thereby transforming it into Bharat ke Mann ki baat.
The BJP manifesto also establishes a strong link with commitments made in the past, and gives a report card on the government’s performance in all sectors. PM Modi writes that the Sankalp Patra gives “a glimpse of the challenges of the yesteryears, the indomitable efforts made by 130 crore Indians to overcome those challenges and our collective vision for the future”. It narrates the success story of a nation, which accomplished in five years the promises left pending for 60 years due to misgovernance.
Whether it be basic necessities like toilets, healthcare, bank accounts, housing, gas connections and electricity for welfare of the people or affirmative reservations for the economically weaker sections of society – all of these have been about ensuring holistic development. The last five years have been about laying the foundation stone for a superstructure. We are now well on the way to achieving it.
We have given the cleanest government ever and created a corruption free environment. Be it in the fair auction of coal blocks and spectrum, or delivery of government services through Direct Benefit Transfer. We have shown how 100 out of 100 rupees can reach the rightful beneficiaries. The taxpayers are assured that their taxes are being put to good use in the uplift of weaker sections of society, and not ending up in the pockets of a few. This legacy will further strengthen as it becomes the norm rather than a novelty.
On the other hand, we have the opposition promising the moon with neither any previous history of results nor any path or intent to deliver. I was seven years old when I heard the slogan of Garibi Hatao by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi. Then at the age of 21, I vividly remember Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi saying that out of every rupee spent by the government only 15 paise reaches the poor.
At the age of 40 I heard the same family say, “Congress ka haath, Gareeb ke Saath.” Today, I am over 50, and their latest slogan is Nyay for the Gareeb. The country is tired of empty slogans. The real Anyay was when one family misled the people for over 55 years and never delivered. It fell upon us to even deliver promises in their manifestos whether it be electricity for all or reservations for the economically weaker classes.
In our Sankalp Patra, we have committed to spend about Rs 100 lakh crore on infrastructure development over the next five years. As the world’s fastest growing large economy we have an appetite for investment and if we continue to increase capital expenditure we can surely achieve our target. The Rs 100 lakh crore will help create the best possible infrastructure – roads, electricity, railways, electric vehicles, defence, healthcare, education, gas, water and irrigation, etc. Most importantly, it will give rise to massive employment opportunities for our youth both as job seekers as well as job givers.
Our motto is “India First”, and the first chapter of our manifesto speaks about strengthening the nation. The fight against divisive forces continues and we are confident the people will support us against terrorism. We are delivering “sabka saath, sabka vikas”.
We have made commitments to every sphere of society – doubling the incomes of farmers with massive investment; empowering our aspirational youth with education, skills and livelihood opportunities; greater participation of women in public life through reservations in state assemblies and Parliament; ensuring dignity for Muslim women by abolishing triple talaq; dignity and justice for Dalits, tribals and backward classes; lower taxes for the middle class; ease of doing business for startups; a safety net for small shopkeepers and traders in their old age with a pension scheme; and infrastructure for the urban areas and rural areas.
Finally, the manifesto lists out 75 milestones for India at 75 in 2022. These will transform India and cover every section of our society. As India takes its rightful place as a world leader, the people have a clear choice between a mahamilawat government with the same stale promises, or the trustworthy promises and decisive leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.