With national security as its trump card, the BJP released its 48-page election manifesto just three days before India starts to vote.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi along with Home Minister Rajnath Singh and BJP president Amit Shah released the manifesto. In its manifesto, the BJP is promising 75 milestones by 2022 when India will celebrate its 75th Independence Day.
The promise of Ram Mandir, Uniform Civil Code, abolition of "Autonomous" status to Jammu and Kashmir find a mention in the manifesto. The party is also promising to 'extend' the PM Kisan scheme to "all farmers". However, it does not specify as to how the scheme will be funded.
The BJP is also hinting at some rationalisation of income tax slabs but no concrete promise is being made. On GST, the BJP is promising a simplified process, unlike the Congress which has promised a single-rate structure.
A war of words erupted between the BJP and the opposition soon after the manifesto was released.
To discuss this further, CNBC-TV18's Shereen Bhan is joined by Syed Zafar Islam, spokesperson of BJP, Sanjay Jha, spokesperson of Congress, Rahul Verma, fellow, Centre for Policy Research, Rasheed Kidwai, senior journalist, Avik Saha from Swaraj India and Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India.
Here's what they have to say:
Syed Zafar Islam, spokesperson of BJP: This visionary Sankalp Patra which has been presented by the party today - it has covered every section of the society be it farmers, women, medium income group, retailers, shopkeepers or the MSME... the national security is the paramount importance for us and that is something which has been very clearly articulated in our Sankalp Patra.
Sanjay Jha, spokesperson of Congress: I am astonished that besides farmers, on jobs - this government is totally silent... it is not just that jobs haven’t happened, there are job losses... now I can only quote our manifesto... we have talked about filling up vacancies, we have talked about employing people in the Gram Panchayat of India and we have talked about incentivising corporate sector that hires more people. Now I am astonished that this government has chosen to completely ignore that.Yogendra Yadav, president of Swaraj India:
They have not even thought through what they have said. He was talking about 2 acres, actually, 2 hectare was the ceiling and all that it could mean is even farmers above 2 hectares will get it. The real issue was that of farmers who owned no land at all, who are either tenant farmers, who are sharecroppers - what happens to them? It is entirely unclear and shall remain unclear.