oppn parties BJP's Manifesto: Old Priorities Underlined And Reordered

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  • University vice-chancellors in West Bengal decide not to hold final-year examinations despite UGC prod, will instead go by the state government advised 80-20 formula where 80% will be marked on performance in past semesters and 20% on internal assessments in the final semester
  • The Centre wants the ITI and other top Indian firms to bid for 5G as Chinese firms Huawei and ZTE are not likely to be allowed to participate
  • India and China agree on total disengagement to return to peace ahead of the next round of military talks
  • The Supreme Court allows delivery of summons and notices via WhatsApp and email, but questions remain on proof of actual receipt
  • National Investigation Agency says the proceeds from the Kerala gold smuggling case could have been used for terrorist activities
  • Four Maoists shot dead in Valmiki Tiger Reserve in Bihar
  • Despite localized lockdown, Covid cases continue to rise at an alarming rate in West Bengal. Newer areas brought under containment zones in Kolkata
  • ICSE, ISC results declared, Average scores in the English paper, 20% lower this year than the average in most years, pulls down the aggregate for most candidates
  • IIP contracts by 35% in May. Manufacturing goes down by 39.3%
  • Row erupts over CBSE's decision to reduce the syllabus by 30% this academic year due to the disruption caused by the pandemic. Experts say several lessons that the ruling dispensation does not like are being removed
  • Gangster Vikas Dubey's nephew killed in an encounter by UP police who also pick up his key aide Raju Khullar and his son Adarsh
  • MHA sets up an inter-ministerial committee to probe the alleged financial misdeeds of three trusts linked to the Gandhi family
  • Actor Jagdeep, most famous for his Soorma Bhopali act in Sholay, passes away
  • Pakistan says Kulbhushan Jadhav has declined to file a review petition and will stick to his mercy plea. India calls it a farce
  • India to keep a strict vigil to confirm that the Chinese are abiding by the deal on the pullback at the LAC
Gangster Vikas Dubey's 'encounter' raises several questions and the Yogi government is under fire for allegedly getting him killed in a 'staged' encounter to prevent the exposure of the nexus between criminals and the administration in the state
oppn parties
BJP's Manifesto: Old Priorities Underlined And Reordered

By A Special Correspondent
First publised on 2019-04-09 11:54:09

Five years is too little time for any government to finish tasks that it takes up. Hence, if it is seeking reelection, its manifesto will obviously not be full of new promises but will reorder the priorities it had laid out in its previous manifesto. Hence it is that the BJP manifesto this time looks like a rehash of its 2014 manifesto with a stronger emphasis on the Modi brand. In any case, the incumbent will always want to carry forward the ‘good’ work it will claim to have done in the last five years; it is upon the opposition to bring in new ideas to prove that the incumbent has failed.

But where the party has erred is in moving national security from the bottom of the list last time to the very top this year, ignoring more pressing issues that concern the well being of the citizens. An inkling that this was going to happen had been provided by the Prime Minister who has been talking only about the Pulwama attack and the subsequent air strikes in Balakot, stoking nationalist sentiments in order to gloss over the failures of his government in some areas.

But has the NDA failed totally? Apart from the opposition and some liberal intellectuals, no one will say that. There are hundreds of schemes where the NDA has scored well – Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, Ujjwala and Skill India, to name just three. It has done away with hundreds of colonial laws that had no place in our legal system. It has introduced GST and the Insolvency Code. It has done well on the infrastructure front too with road construction showing healthy growth. It has also introduced the Prime Minister Aawas Yojna to help the lower middle class buy their own homes easily and the PM Mudra Yojana to help small businessmen in various stage of existence to scale up their businesses. Most importantly, despite rising oil prices, it has kept inflation under check. Where it has failed is in job creation, which is the direct result of the much less than expected response to the Make in India initiative.

Even if the Prime Minister wanted to deflect attention from the job crisis and the agrarian distress, he could have highlighted the success of the other schemes. But that would have allowed the opposition to steer the debate towards unemployment. Hence, he led the opposition down the nationalism alley and they blindly followed, giving him an escape route. He may have also been guided by the rejection of the “India Shining” campaign in 2004 when the BJP lost despite highlighting its achievements. The BJP manifesto builds upon the narrative of ultra-nationalism and national security and gives prime importance to a majboot sarkaar that does not shy from taking strong decisions where national security is concerned. It remains to be seen whether the people want a strong and decisive government whose niyat is saaf or a government that is promising NYAY.