‘Zero tolerance towards terror, free hand to armed forces’
NRC to tackle illegal immigrants
JAMMU, Apr 8: The BJP today called for complete integration of Jammu and Kashmir with rest of the country by declaring that it will abrogate Articles 370 and 35A and said it will have zero tolerance against terrorism and extremism and called for free hand to security forces in combating terrorism. It announced expeditious completion of National Register of Citizens (NRC) in other parts of the country as there has been a huge change in cultural and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration.
In its 45-page manifesto released today by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, BJP president Amit Shah, Home Minister Rajnath Singh, Chairperson of Manifesto Committee, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley among others, the BJP announced creation of development and other necessary infrastructure in border areas to strengthen border security.
“We reiterate our position since the time of Jan Sangh to abrogation of Article 370. We are also committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir,” the BJP manifesto said in a special chapter `Nation First’, dedicated to national security, welfare of soldiers, countering infiltration, modernization of police forces and related issues.
Saying the BJP believes that Article 35A is an obstacle in development of J&K, the manifesto titled ‘Sankalp Patra’ said it will take all steps to ensure safe and peaceful environment for all residents of the State.
It said: “the BJP will make all efforts to ensure safe return of Kashmiri Pandits (to the Valley) and financial assistance for resettlement of refugees from West Pakistan, Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (PoJK) and Chhamb.”
The BJP manifesto carried a quote of Prime Minister Narendra Modi which said India supports peace, but the country will not hesitate to take any steps required for national security.
The BJP manifesto said the party will firmly continue the policy of zero tolerance against terrorism and extremism and continue to give free hand to security forces in combating terrorism.
“Our security doctrine will be guided by our national security interest only. This is exemplified by the surgical and air strikes. We will firmly continue our policy of zero tolerance against terrorism,” the party document said.
Referring to illegal immigration in various States including Jammu region, where large number of Rohingyas were putting up, the BJP said there has been a huge change in culture and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration, resulting in an adverse impact on local people’s livelihood and employment.
“We will expeditiously complete the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in these areas on priority. In future, we will implement the NRC in phase manner in other parts of the country,” it said.
Regarding development of border areas, the BJP manifesto said the party will focus on creation of developmental and other necessary infrastructure in border areas to ensure that border security is strengthened and to enable increased participation and benefits for border areas in country’s development and progress.
The BJP promised to strengthen armed forces purchases of outstanding defence related equipments and weapons. In order to equip the Armed Forces with modern equipment, it said the BJP will continue to take focused steps to strengthen strike capability of the Armed Forces.
In its manifesto, the BJP also underscored its commitment to enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill, on which it was forced to go slow following widespread opposition from North East States.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh said the bill is necessary for protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries escaping persecution.
Referring to protests in North Eastern States against the bill, he said his party, if voted back to power, will make all efforts to clarify the issues to those who have expressed apprehensions regarding the legislation.
“We reiterate our commitment to protect the linguistic, cultural and social identity of the people of North-East. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India’s neighbouring countries will be given citizenship in India,” he said.
Advocating self-reliance in defence sector, the BJP said it has taken several effective steps in the last five years.
The most modern AK-203 automatic rifles are being manufactured at Amethi under our ‘Make in India’ in defence initiative, the manifesto said.
“We are committed to focus on ‘Make in India in Defence’ to enable indigenous production of defence equipment. This will also generate employment and encourage investment in the defence sector,” it said.
Under the subject of welfare of soldiers, the party said it has demonstrated its commitment to the welfare of our veterans with the implementation of long delayed OROP (one rank one pension).
It promised in its manifesto to create a more effective framework for the resettlement of armed forces veterans, saying planning for their post-retirement lives will begin three years before their service end.
This will include provision for skills training and soft skills training, and financial support for higher education, housing and starting an enterprise, it said.
PTI adds from New Delhi:
Eyeing to retain power, the BJP made a plethora of poll promises today, including expeditious construction of Ram temple, doubling farmers’ income in the next three years and making India the third-largest economy globally by 2030.
On the economic front, the party said it aspired to make India the third-largest economy of the world by 2030, adding, “This implies that we commit to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and USD 10 trillion economy by 2032.”
The party promised that it would continue with the simplification of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) process by engaging in dialogue with all the stakeholders.
Asserting that nationalism was his party’s inspiration and inclusion and good governance its mantra, Modi said the BJP’s manifesto aimed to make India a developed nation by 2047, 100 years after Independence.
The “Sankalp Patra” (document of resolve) of the BJP had 75 definitive, time-bound targets for the country, he said, adding, “We want people to hold us accountable. Hence, we have set out 75 goals to be achieved by 2022.”
The Prime Minister said the BJP’s manifesto was a “multi-layered and multi-dimensional” document that addressed the expectations and aspirations of all sections of the society.
In his write-up in the manifesto, Shah said: “In its tenure of five years, the Government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been able to take many decisions which are historic and has ushered in a comprehensive and fundamental transformation.”
He also referred to various schemes and decisions of the Government, including the Swachh Bharat Mission, the Ujjwala Yojana, the Saubhagya Yojana, demonetization, GST, surgical strikes and airstrikes.
In his remarks at the event, the BJP chief said Modi had done justice to every section of the society, with cooking gas connections given in the rural areas, housing and affordable healthcare for all and welfare schemes for farmers.
He said the party promised to the people of India a transparent, strong and decisive government and urged the voters to bring it back to power.
“Our ‘Sankalp Patra’ promises to fulfill all expectations of the people,” Shah said.
He added that Modi had provided a decisive Government in the last five years and had dared to order surgical strikes and airstrikes on the foundation of terror.
With its strikes on terror, the Modi-led Government had sent out a strong message that India could not be taken lightly, the BJP chief said.
Calling the BJP’s manifesto a “vision document”, head of the party’s manifesto committee Rajnath Singh said the Modi Government was fully committed on nationalism and zero tolerance towards terrorism.
Jaitley said the manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls starting April 11 was not prepared with a “tukde tukde” mindset, but with a strong nationalistic vision.
The document was rooted in reality, the Finance Minister added.
“Our new policy, new doctrine of striking terror at its origin has received global recognition,” he told the gathering.
Speaking on the occasion, Swaraj said the BJP was the only party to come up with a “Sankalp Patra” while others came up with “Ghoshna Patra”.
“It is not just announcements that the document has made, but pledges that the party has made to itself to deliver to the people,” the External Affairs Minister said.
“The country will believe us because we did a lot more than we had promised in 2014,” she added.