9 Promises BJP Manifesto Made in 2014 But Didn’t Mention in 2019
Kashmiri Pandits, cows, untouchability, farmer data – here is a list of all the things the BJP forgot in 2019.
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 on 8 April. The new manifesto has obviously drawn comparison to the party’s manifesto in the 2014 general election, on the back of which it came to power with a resounding margin.
In 2014, the BJP released a 52-page manifesto that made 549 promises. Title – Ek Bharat, Shreshtha Bharat.
The 2019 election manifesto consisted of 45 pages and 75 poll promises. Title – Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat.
Noticeably also, while the 2014 manifesto cover had a plethora of BJP leaders, the 2019 manifesto had just one – Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
- 01/02BJP Manifesto Cover, 2014Photo: The Bharatiya Janta Party
- 02/02BJP Manifesto Cover, 2019Photo: The Bharatiya Janta Party
Here are some of the key differences between the two:
1. Return of Kashmiri Pandits & PoK Refugees
In the 2014 manifesto, the BJP had pledged to “facilitate the return of Kashmiri Pandits and rights of POK refugees,” under the section ‘Integrating the Nation’. Interestingly, there was no mention of Article 370 or 35A in the manifesto.
This year, however, Kashmiri Pandits found no mention in the BJP manifesto whereas the party blatantly stated (in a sub-section titled ‘Nation First’) that they reiterate their “position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370.”
Quite recently, the Modi government has come under pressure from Kashmiri Pandits – a good section of their vote bank in 2014 – for not doing enough to facilitate the return of Pandits to the Kashmir Valley.
2. Focus on ‘Narendra Modi’
In the 2014 BJP manifesto, the term ‘Narendra Modi’ found no mention at all.
But in the 2019 manifesto, ‘Narendra’ was mentioned 22 times and ‘Modi’ featured 26 times. It is important to note that these are more mentions than that for other important keywords like: citizens (17), poor (14), health (22), growth (14), forces (14) and corruption (11).
The words ‘jobs’ which appeared 13 times in 2014, only appears twice in this year’s manifesto.
3. Cow Goes Missing in 2019
In 2014, under the section ‘National Heritage’, the BJP had a special sub-section for ‘cow’ and a description that read:
“Necessary legal framework to protect cow + National Cattle Development Board for improvement of indigenous livestock breeds.”
In the 2019 manifesto, the word ‘cow’ finds no mention.
All through its time in the government, however, the BJP has been accused of going soft on ‘cow-related’ violence, which first came to light with the lynching of 52-year-old Mohammad Akhlaq in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh over suspicion of cow slaughter.
The Quint has recorded 90 incidents of mob violence, many of which were related to cow slaughter rumours, across the country since 2015.
4. No ‘Brand India’ in Foreign Policy
The ‘Foreign Policy’ section in the 2014 manifesto talked about building ‘Brand India’ with 5T’s: Tradition, Talent, Tourism, Trade and Technology.
In the 2019 foreign policy section, Brand India is omitted. However, the demand for a permanent seat for India in the United Nations Security Council, makes an appearance.
Interestingly, terrorism, which was earlier listed as a security issue in 2014, is now listed under foreign policy with the party “committed to taking concrete steps on international forums against countries and organisations supporting terrorism”.
The move seems to be capitalising on the BJP’s nationalist, tough-on-Pakistan stance after the Indian Airforce claimed to strike a Jaish terrorist camp on Pakistan soil earlier this year.
5. Real-Time Data For Farmers
In 2014, the BJP had promised to “use technology to disseminate real-time data to farmers”.
The 2019 manifesto makes no mention of such technology or any other means to share real-time data with farmers.
It, however, promised to double farm income by 2022, extend the PM-KISAN scheme to all farmers, and also give pension to small and marginal farmers.
6. Smart Cities
A major poll promise of the BJP in 2014 was that of setting up ‘smart cities’. In the ‘Urban Areas’ section of the manifesto, the party promised to build “100 new cities – focused on specialised domains.”
The 2019 manifesto does not mention any such cities.
7. Untouchability & Tribal Rights
In 2014, the BJP claimed to be committed to the “eradication of Untouchability and Manual Scavenging at all levels”. It also proposed to set up a national level Tribal Development Programme, overseen by dedicated authority and National Centre for Tribal Research and Culture.
The 2019 manifesto has no mention of the terms “untouchability” or “manual scavenging”. Also, it has no special provisions for bolstering tribal rights and does not mention any national-level centres.
In 2018, the Safai Karamchari Andolan — an organisation working for the development of manual scavengers — released its official survey data, claiming that there have been 429 deaths due to manual scavenging in Delhi alone from 2016 to 2018.
According to a report by News18, the official numbers by the National Commission for Safai Karamcharis (NCSK) – a government body set up for the welfare of sanitation workers – show that 123 manual scavengers lost their lives in the same time period.
The 2014 BJP manifesto mentions “transformation of Employment Exchanges into Career Centres”.
There is, however, no mention of such ‘Career Centres’ in the 2019 manifesto.
This comes at a time when the centre has been facing immense flack after an NSSO report, which was yet to be made accessible to the public, revealed that unemployment hit a four-decade high of 6.1 percent in 2017-18.
After the leak, the government said that the report was “not yet finalised”.
Lastly, the BJP manifesto of 2014 made three specific promises with regard to eradicating corruption:
- e-Governance: making governance transparent and minimising citizen-government interface.
- Commitment for tracking down and bringing back Black Money through a ‘Task Force’.
- Pro-actively engaging with foreign Governments to facilitate information sharing on black money.
The ‘Corruption-Free Bharat’ section of the present manifesto, however, only talks about the NDA government enacting the Fugitive Economic Offenders Act, 2018, the Prevention of Corruption (Amendment) Act, 2018, and the Benami Transaction Prohibition (Amendment) Act, 2016.
Notably, demonetisation (mentioned only once in the manifesto) which was being touted by the government as one of its largest “black money cleaning” act was not mentioned in this section.
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.