Narendra Modi's election manifesto packs larger doles and a rosy narrative


  • The incumbent Narendra Modi government in India led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has released election manifesto 3 days before the first polling date.
  • As expected, the 2019 manifesto builds on a lot of pledges the government made in its interim budget announcement and on the campaign trail, especially with regards to rural distress, job creation and national security.
  • The manifesto - the first ever under Prime Minister Narendra Modi - comes a week after rival party Congress released its own, giving the BJP the chance to counter the opposition party’s promises, specifically NYAY, its minimum income support scheme.
The incumbent Narendra Modi government, led by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), has released its election manifesto 3 days before the first polling date.

Speaking at the launch of the manifesto, Modi said that the government had made 75 proposals in line with India’s 75-year independence celebration in 2022, all of which would be implemented in a “time-bound” manner.

As expected, the 2019 manifesto builds on a lot of pledges the government made in its interim budget announcement and on the campaign trail, especially with regards to rural distress, job creation and national security.

The Prime Minister had already promised to double all farmers incomes by 2022. Under the government’s already-announced PM Kisan Yojana, cash will be transferred to beneficiaries, which hold 2 hectares of land or less, in three installments of ₹2000 each every year, culminating in a total payment of ₹6,000 per year.

Under pressure after rival Congress’ income support scheme, the BJP has extended this benefit to all farmers, as opposed to only smallholding farmers, which will significantly increase the outlay of the scheme.

In addition to the farmer handouts, the BJP outlined a pension scheme for informal sector workers in its interim budget. The scheme proposes a monthly pension of ₹3,000 above the age of 60. It is also offering tax breaks for workers in the formal sector that earn less than ₹500,000 a year. In another play towards farmers, the manifesto promised interest-rate free credit cards loans less than ₹100,000 to all farmers.

The BJP also plans to mobilise ₹100 trillion of investments into infrastructure within the next five years and improve road connectivity between cities by doubling the amount of national highways

It also wants to ensure that every Indian doesn’t live more than 5 kms away from a banking outlets and push India to a top 20 position in the World Bank and IMF’s Ease of Doing Business index from current level of 77.

The policy document also reiterated the BJP’s commitment to implementing a uniform civil code across all Indian states and revoking Article 35A of the Constitution, which it explains went against the interests of non-permanent residents of Jammu & Kashmir as t conferred special rights on residents especially in the acquisition of property and eligibility for public sector jobs.

This manifesto lays down the foundation of a continuing government, finance minister Arun Jaitley said.

The manifesto announcement by party president Amit Shah started with a rundown of the Modi administration’s purported achievements over the past five years - a crackdown on corruption and black money, strikes against terrorists, a reining in of prices, the construction of 80 million toilets etc in line with its 2014 manifesto.

The manifesto had 75 pledges to celebrate 75 years of India’s independence in 2022. These included the doubling of farmers incomes, the continued strengthening of the armed forces and border security patrols, the passage of the contentious Citizenship Amendment Bill, the construction of the also-contentious Ram Mandir and the expansion of its Ayushman Bharat health insurance scheme.

The manifesto - the first ever under Prime Minister Narendra Modi - comes a week after rival party Congress released its own, giving the BJP the chance to counter the opposition party’s promises, specifically NYAY, its minimum income support scheme.

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India’s Congress party proposes a separate farmer’s budget and single rate GST in its election manifesto

Here’s a comparison of the election sops offered by the BJP and the Congress
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