ByÂ Meghana Rathore:
Earlier today came in the much awaited and anticipated, BJP’s manifesto. Apart from suggesting much appreciated reforms, there is plenty of jingoism and expressed desire to purge the UPA. However what’s notable is the reductionist approach that has been undertaken and there are specific clauses that delve upon the solutions to the various problems that we are facing.
The reactions that the manifesto incited were a mix of flak and accolades. Also, many termed it as the “Modifesto”. Here are 10 notable things you need to know about the manifesto and what the BJP promises:
– Under the “Reform the system section”, it promises good governance, transparency, easy access to government services; performance review, social and environment audit to be mandated for all Government schemes and programmes.
– Institutional Reforms include prison reforms like strengthening security as well as human rights reforms.
– There is commitment to secure 33% reservation for women in parliamentary and state assemblies through an amendment and setting up of a separate fund for acid attack victims
– Initiation of a national e-governance plan to cover every government office from the centre to the panchayats.
– Abrogation of Article 370.
– Under “integrating the nation” section BJP promises ensuring better connectivity of the north-eastern region to the rest of India and development of tourism in the region.
– Addressing Corruption issues the party promises recruiting a special task force to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks and offshore accounts. Apart from this, other steps would include a system to eliminate corruption through public awareness, technology enabled e-governance, rationalisation and simplification of tax regime.
– Bringing on board all state governments in adopting GST(Goods and Services tax)
– Commitment to public interest. Bureaucratic reforms to take right decisions and use the bureaucracy’s contribution in building a modern India
– One contentious issue that was covered includes the party’s commitment towards setting up the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya.
The manifesto turned out to be by far, one of the most schematic and rational manifestos. The issues of administration have been addressed pragmatically as anticipated. If implemented, it might change the face of the Indian Administrative Structure. Schemes like e-governance, bureaucratic empowerment, easy access to government services, putting a check on black money, reforming the tax regime are all visionary, to say the least. Prison reforms, seen from an exclusive angle of human rights, too is a novel vision. Bringing on board all states to adopt GST would be a step ahead in pursuing economic reforms. Apart from all the nitty-gritties of administrative and institutional reforms the USPs were not dropped off. BJP’s take on Ram Mandir and Article 370 stands undisputed.
What might have taken a backlog is its stand on social issues. The issue of Children as usual has merely been mentioned for the sake of it. Although creating a welfare fund for acid attack victims was alluded but the issue certainly needs more attention than that. Moreover, while some parties like the CPM have taken a strong stand on Section 377, BJP continues to act evasively. Issues like AFSPA and homosexuality that have been pervasive in the media lately have not been mentioned or delved upon.