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Prime Minister Narendra Modi, along with Amit Shah, today released the ruling BJP’s manifesto for the national election starting Thursday. The “sankalp patra” or document of promises has been crafted on the theme of a “Sankalpit Bharat – Shashakt Bharat” or “determined India, empowered India”.

“In five years, the government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has taken 50 major decisions for the betterment of the country. From 2014-19, our government has transformed the country,” Amit Shah said today.

The BJP is likely to announce a jobs guarantee scheme on the lines of MNREGA introduced by the previous Congress-led government. It also promises housing for all by 2020 and the doubling of farmers’ income by next year.

“We took suggestions from six crore people while making the sankalp patra. When we came to power in 2014, our country was ranked as 11th major economy. Today, it stands as 5th major economy,” Mr Shah said.

In 2014, the BJP had released its manifesto on the first day of the nine-phase polls but this time the Election Commission has put a 48-hour gag order as part of the model code and it applies to each of the seven phases over the next six weeks.

On Sunday, in a build up towards the manifesto launch, the BJP showcased its campaign slogan Phir Ek Baar Modi Sarkar, (Modi government, once again), at the party headquarters in Delhi.

“The first theme of the campaign will be ‘Kaam Karne Wali Sarkar’. Also, we formed a government in 2014 – an era of corruption, and ran an honest government. This is why the second theme is Imaandar Sarkaar. The third theme of the campaign will be Bade Faisle Lene Waali Sarkaar, since this government has taken the tough decisions which include development and national security,” Union Minister Arun Jaitley said after launching the campaign slogan.

With the Congress manifesto emphasizing on welfare measures, including the NYAY plan that promises Rs. 72,000 to the poorest in India, the BJP is likely to announce a plan for farmers, youth and women.

Terrorism and security-related issues have also been the focus of the party’s poll campaign since Pulwama attack and the retaliatory Balakot strike across the Line of Control.

—India Legal Bureau

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