BJP vows end to ‘policy paralysis’
New Delhi, April 7
Otherwise welcoming foreign investments, it said it would continue to oppose FDI in multi-brand retail.
The focus of the document is on “good governance and inclusive development”, a campaign theme of the party’s PM candidate Narendra Modi, but contentious issues like abrogation of Article 370 which gives special status to Jammu and Kashmir and enactment of Uniform Civil Code (UCC) have been included.
“The BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till India adopts a UCC which protects the rights of all women and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a UCC drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with modern times,” says the document prepared by a committee chaired by senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi.
Sources, however, say that “pre-election rhetoric and decision making after election are two different things” and allies may have a different point of view on the issue. Moreover, the promise to build “Team India” and giving “fiscal autonomy” to states meant that the states would be free to take a call on economic issues.
Broadly, the document bears the Modi imprint with stress on “rainbow coalition of social and political groupings and 5Ts to revive Brand India - Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology. It talks of development of high-impact domains like labour-intensive manufacturing, 100 new cities, wi-fi facilities in public and bullet trains to woo the youth and first time voters.
It also promises simplified taxes, low-cost housing for every family and a new national health policy.
Another key point is revival of India’s nuclear doctrine, whose central principle is that New Delhi would not be first to use atomic weapons in a conflict.
The 42-page document, which is attracting criticism for falling short of expectations, seems to have taken care of caste-base vote banks.
So, while promising equal opportunities to Muslims through measures like “National Madrassa Modernisation Programme” and empowering Wakf boards, the saffron party has taken care to highlight its core agenda - Hindutva - promising “to explore all possibilities within the framework of Constitution to facilitate the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya”.
There were speculations that the document release was delayed because of a tussle between the old guard backed by ideological mentor RSS, which wanted core Hindutva issues to be included, and the gen-next in favour of avoiding any reference to the electorally sensitive issues.
“The Ram temple issue is culturally important to us. This has nothing to do with Hindutva or athva (otherwise),” Joshi, asserting that Hindutva was not an election agenda. “We have put it in the section on cultural heritage,” he said.
Modi imprint visible
What vision document says
Our opponent’s communal agenda is a grave threat to our country’s unity and integrity and the Congress is the only party that can ensure that the country remains
Issues like the Ram temple, Article 370 and Common Civil Code were not on the original agenda when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was the PM. It is nothing but the RSS