‘Congress will deliver’ and ‘Sankalp Patra’ : An analysis of the manifestos of parties.
The two leading parties of the country have released their manifestos. While manifestos are now considered a synonym of false hopes by the people of the country, still it holds a lot of importance as it defines the nature, vision and the gravitas of the prospective government towards the issues of the country.
Congress will deliver and Sankalp patra are the titles of the INC and BJP respectively. The cover page of “Hum Nibhayenge” or “Congress will deliver” features a central extended image of the people of the country with Rahul Gandhi’s and party’s symbol aligned below it. The BJP’s manifesto features a large magnified image of Shri Narendra Modi only as their cover page.
With the unemployment rate higher than ever, one of the most important issues of the country is the creation of Jobs.
The BJP’s Manifesto did not have any specific head for JOB creation; it suggested employment in the section of Entrepreneurship and start-ups and signalled in the infrastructure section that creation of infrastructure will lead to job creation. On the contrary, the congress manifesto started took of with Job as their utmost priority. The 16 points Job header gave an inch of promising vision on the employment sector such as filling of the 4 lakh vacancies, abolishing of application fees for government examinations, creating new sewa mitra positions and regulatory forbearance for MSME. The rest of promises appeared to be vague without as there was no rigid plan of action attached to it.
Congress in its manifesto promised to double the allocation of GDP to 6% in the next 5 years with the vision to make 12 years of schooling free and compulsory. It also promised to increase the Gross Enrollment ration from 25.8 to at least 40 and restore the 200 point rooster system for appointment in central universities. the last sentence of 24th point promises to waive of outstanding interest due on old education loans as on 31 March 2019.
The BJP’s Manifesto promised to progress the debatable educational reforms that were done in the last 5 years. In a few points it aimed at creating 200 schools like Kendriya vidyala and Navodyay vidyalay and promised to take necessary steps to increase the number of seats in Central Law, Engineering, Science and management institutions.
Congress in its Manifesto disagreed with the insurance based model of health care and promised to bring the free hospital-model to bring universal health care. It spoke about doubling the expenditure of GDP to 3% by 2023-2024 and promised to fill up all the vacancies in PHC’s within one year.
BJP’s health section majorly consisted of the debatable achievements they made and the promise to continue it, one specific promise is made to ensure that every district has a medical college graduate or post graduate by public/Private participation by 2024 and 75 of these will be set up by 2022.
The First section in the Sankalp patra was the security under the Nation First header. It majorly constituted about the current government’s achievements in dealing with the terrorism. The aim to create Citizen Amendment bill and providing citizenship to Hindu, Jains, Buddhists and Christians from neighbouring countries was mentioned. It also spoke about annulling of Article 35A and abrogation of Article 370.Promise to construct 14 integrated check posts by 2024 was also mentioned.
Congress in its Manifesto promised to establish a number of office post and bodies relating to defence and also touched the issue of Disability of injured armed forces personnel and give a statutory basis to the National Security Council. The promise to pass a Law on asylum was mentioned. In the Context of Jammu and Kashmir it suggested reviewing of the AFSPA and promised that nothing will be done to change the constitutional position of Jammu and Kashmir referring to article 370 and 35A.
Though this were the highlights of few sections, The Sankalp patra majorly constituted of the achievements it made and the aim to carry it forward with a less number of new objectives while ‘Hum Nibhayenge’ consisted of a few milestones and some vague cloudy promises. But the nature of the political parties and ideologies is reflected and can be felt in the ways their manifestos have been drafted.