The 52-page document, which was released at the BJP headquarters here, also pledged to provide good governance and inclusive development besides focusing on improving the country’s economy and infrastructure, ending policy paralysis and curbing corruption

“The BJP reiterates its stand to explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya,” the manifesto said.

When asked about the reported differences within the BJP over inclusion of the Ram Temple issue, Murli Manohar Joshi, chairman of the manifesto committee, said, “Whatever is there is there in the manifesto.  If you want to write something on the basis of your own perceptions, you are free to do.”

Joshi, who formally released the BJP’s much-delayed manifesto, said the document focused on improving the country’s economy and infrastructure, ending policy paralysis and curbing corruption.

“We have chalked out a plan to improve the economic situation in the country in the manifesto,” Joshi said.

“We need to build a Brand India,” he added.

Blaming policy paralysis of the Congress-led UPA government for rising unemployment, corruption and black money, Joshi said the country needed a strong leadership.

“Price rise and inflation have been troubling people for months…. The problems of unemployment, black money and corruption have arisen as policy paralysis has gripped the country," Joshi said.

“The system needs reform,” he added.

When asked if the party was trying to confuse voters by including Ram Temple and whether this could be called raking up Hindutva, Joshi said, “This has nothing to do with Hindutva……..  This is only a promise of development programme.”

The senior BJP leader said Hindutva has never been an election issue and added the manifesto was based on issues of development and governance.

“We have put it in the section on ‘Cultural Heritage’. What is culturally important for us we have said," Joshi said referring to the promise on Ram Temple.  

On Uniform Civil Code, the manifesto said Article 44 of the Constitution lists Uniform Civil Code (UCC) as one of the directive principles of the state policy.

"BJP believes that there cannot be gender equality till such time India adopts a UCC which protects the rights of all women and the BJP reiterates its stand to draft a UCC drawing upon the best traditions and harmonising them with modern times," said the document.

Dealing with Article 370 in the chapter on Jammu and Kashmir, the manifesto said, "The BJP reiterates its stand on the Constitution provision and will discuss this with all stakeholders and remains committed to the abrogation of this article."

Return of the Kashmiri Pandits to the land of their ancestors with full dignity, security and assured livelihood will figure on the BJP's agenda, it said.

In the ‘Cultural Heritage’ section, the manifesto says that Ram Setu is part of our cultural heritage and also of strategic importance due to its vast thorium deposits. These facts will be taken into consideration while taking any decision on Sethusamudram channel project.

Terming the period of UPA I and II as ‘the decade of decay’, the manifesto said India had a ‘free fall’ on all fronts, including governance, economy, diplomacy, foreign policy, border safety, etc.

At the same time, corruption, scams and crime against women have been reached ‘unacceptable’ level.  There has been a gross misuse of government and institutions.  

"The government dithered by each passing day casting gloom and doom on the country that was once under the NDA regime called the emerging superpower. Critical and urgent challenges facing the nation have been left unaddressed. Beyond impacting the immediate short term, this is corroding the long term potential of the nation.  People feel frustrated and have lost hope in the system. Things must change and they must change now,” the manifesto said.  

“The BJP will take immediate and decisive action to address these issues on a priority basis,” it added.


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