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BJP releases its 2014 election manifesto

NEW DELHI: The Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday released its manifesto focusing on improving the country’s economy and infrastructure, ending policy paralysis and curbing corruption.

Releasing the manifesto on the first phase of the Lok Sabha election, party leader Murli Manohar Joshi said “We have chalked out a plan to improve the economic situation in the country in the manifesto. As far as infrastructure is concerned, improving manufacturing is important and it needs to be export oriented. We need to build a Brand India”.

“The sooner we do it the better it would be to generate more jobs,” he added.

On Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader said barring FDI in multi-brand retail, the party was not opposed to the FDI as it will create employment.

The manifesto also focusses on judicial, electoral and police reforms said Mr. Joshi in the presence of Modi, Advani and Rajnath Singh.

Apart from the need to contain price rice, the manifesto stressed the need more opportunities in education and industry for minorities.

On tax issues, the manifesto talked of reform in tax system to attract investors, and putting an end to tax terrorism and reducing people’s woes.

Highlights of the manifesto:

* The 40-page manifesto focus on economic revival and development for all, two dominant themes in the campaign of the party's prime ministerial candidate, Narendra Modi.

* It mentions the BJP's old promise for a Ram temple at the disputed site of the razed Babri mosque in Ayodhya. It calls for the building of a grand temple at the site "within the Constitutional framework."

* Issues of policy paralysis, system reforms and corruption, said the BJP.

* The party says it will welcome Foreign Direct Investment, except in multi-brand retail.

* Freight and industrial corridors will be developed and a "Sagar Mala" project will be introduced to develop a coastal area network.

* The BJP has promised to stress on vocational training, technical training and scientific research programme

* The manifesto says the BJP will work towards containing prices.

* A new health policy will seek to provide "accessible, affordable and effective health care system." 

* It will also focus on reforms in taxation to attract investors and end "tax terrorism". 

* The party promises a national optic fiber network linking villages.

* It also laid emphases on Himalyan development, University dedicated to Himalayan Technology - Agencies











First phase of Lok Sabha election begins 

GUWAHATI: The first phase of the Lok Sabha elections in five seats in Assam began on Monday on a peaceful note. The Congress, BJP, Trinamool Congress, AIUDF, AGP, AAP, SUCI, CPI (M), AIFB and SP are contesting in the five seats in Tezpur, Koliabor, Jorhat, Dibrugarh and Lakhimpur in the Congress-ruled state.

Among the 51 candidates, Union ministers Ranee Narah and Paban Singh Ghatowar, former Union minister and sitting MLA Bijoy Krishna Handique, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi’s son Gourav Gogoi and Bhupen Kumar Bora are for the Congress.

Congress rebel and Independent candidate Moni Kumar Subba is also in the fray. For the BJP, its unit president Sorbananda Sonowal and Kamakhya Prasad Tasa are contesting while AGP’s nominees are Arun Kumar Sarma, Pradip Hazarika and Joseph Toppo.

An electorate of 64,41,634, including 31,20,067 women, are expected to exercise their franchise at 8,588 polling stations. For the first time in the northeast region and the third time in the country after Kashmir and Bihar, all polling booths have been declared smoking free.

Security measures have been tightened for the polls with additional companies of security forces deployed.
The next phase of the polls will be held on April 12 for three Lok Sabha seats.

Tripura West

Polling for the Tripura West Lok Sabha also seat began on Monday in the Left Front-ruled state which has two parliamentary constituencies. The seat will witness a multi-cornered contest among the CPI(M), the Congress, the TMC and the BJP.

Among the 13 candidates, major contestants are CPI(M)’s Shankar Prasad Dutta, secretary of the state unit of CITU, Congress’ Arunoday Saha, former Vice-Chancellor of Tripura Central University, Sudhindra Dasgupta, BJP’s state unit chief and chairman of the state unit of TMC and former minister Ratan Chakraborty.

The CPI(M) has won the seat ten out of 15 times between 1952 and 2009. Since 1996 the CPI(M) has consistently won this seat. Of the 12,46,794 voters, 634702 are male and the remaining female.

Altogether 1,605 polling stations have been set up for the constituency of which only two have been identified as very vulnerable, 486 as vulnerable. The Election Commission has set up nine all-women polling stations considering the track record of good performance by women personnel.

An additional 35 companies of security forces have been dispatched by the EC for deployment along with the state police. The BSF has deployed additional forces along the 856 km Indo-Bangladesh international border.

Polling for the East Tripura (ST Reserve) seat will be held on April 12. - PTI










We will provide good governance, says Modi

NEW DELHI: BJP's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi Monday pledged to provide good governance if his party was voted to power in the Lok Sabha election.

Speaking briefly after the release of the BJP's election manifesto, Modi said the Bharatiya Janata Party's aim was to provide a strong and united India which would enjoy the world's respect.

"There will be zero tolerance on this issue," Modi said, his voice a little hoarse from the many election speeches he has been giving all over the country.

"If I have to summarize our manifesto in two words, I will say: good governance and development."

The Gujarat chief minister said he would leave no stone unturned to carry out the responsibilities the BJP had thrust on him. 

He promised never to do anything for himself and underlined that he "will do nothing with a sense of revenge".

On the manifesto, Modi said: "This is not an election ritual. It is not just a document. It reveals our party's direction, our aim." -IANS









EC exploring voting through internet for NRIs

NEW DELHI: Non-resident Indians may be able to cast their votes through Internet from overseas as the Election Commission today told the Supreme Court that it is exploring such a possibility.

The Commission, however, told a bench headed by Justice K S Radhakrishnan that it is almost impossible to make any such arrangement for NRI to cast their votes from overseas in the ongoing general election as electoral rolls have been concluded in almost all the constituencies.

The bench, however, asked the Commission to do something in this election itself.

"You still have time," the bench said and wondered whether NRIs, who are registered voters, can be allowed to use their franchise through postal ballot.

"Why don't you examine at least this (regarding 11,844 registered NRIs)," it said.

The Election Commission submitted that it has appointed a committee to explore the possibility of allowing NRIs to cast their votes from overseas.

The bench then asked the Commission to file their response and posted the case for hearing on April 11.

The court was hearing a PIL filed by an NRI Shamsheer VP, who contended that the existing provision which mandates NRI voter to be physically present in the constituency to exercise his vote was discriminatory and violative of fundamental rights.

He submitted that a total number over one crore people will be entitled to cast their vote if NRIs are allowed to vote from overseas.

The PIL said 114 countries have adopted external voting and amongst it are 20 Asian countries. It said that the external voting could be by setting up polling booths at the diplomatic mission, or by postal, proxy or electronic voting.

Shamsheer migrated to the UAE 12 years ago prior to which he was enrolled as a voter in his hometown of Calicut, Kerala and had voted in the elections. Subsequently he was removed from the voters list because of his NRI status. - PTI










Kejriwal to vote in Delhi

NEW DELHI: AAP chief Arvind Kejriwal, who is contesting the Lok Sabha election from Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh, will cast his vote in the national capital that goes to the polls April 10.

Aam Aadmi Party sources said Kejriwal has applied to the Election Commission for his voter identity card with the address as Tilak Lane in central Delhi. He will not cast his vote in Varanasi.

The former Delhi chief minister shifted to the government flat in New Delhi from Ghazibad in January. He was recently allowed to stay in the house till Aug 3, after the public works department granted him extension due to his daughter's examination.

Kejriwal was the chief minister of Delhi for 49 days after the AAP won 28 seats in the assembly elections.

He is contesting from India's oldest city Varanasi against Bharatiya Janata Party's prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. - IANS







Rupee up 29 paise

MUMBAI: The rupee appreciated by 29 paise to trade at 59.79 against the US dollar in early trade on Monday on selling of the American currency by banks.

Forex dealers said sustained foreign capital inflows also supported the rupee but a lower opening in the domestic equity market and dollar gains against the euro limited the gains.

The rupee had rose by eight paise to close at 60.08 against the dollar on Friday on fresh selling of the US currency by exporters and some banks notwithstanding weakness in local equities and firm greenback overseas.- PTI




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