Same as Congress, But laced with poison
Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam
Finally, the much-awaited BJP manifesto has been released, even though elections have already begun. Manifestos come weeks before the election, not on the day people start going to the poll booth. This is a great discourtesy to the voter.
We have been waiting for the BJP’s manifesto for such a long time only to discover that there is nothing worth noting here. Whatever is worthy of notice is already there in the Congress manifesto released almost two weeks before it. Congress can easily sue them for copyright violation and theft of intellectual property.
But, true to its style, Congress will never drag them to a court of law for theft of intellectual property. They will not drag the BJP even to the public court. So, let it be.
However, the question still remains as to what led to so much delay in releasing the BJP manifesto. They could have taken all that time to lace it with some deadly issues like the Ayodhya temple that has led to the murder of hundreds of people in the past and has the potential to do it again. The BJP cannot survive without politics of hate and violence. Development and corruption are there only in the show-case; inside the underground godown it is full of weapons of communal carnage. For its victory those weapons must be used, or a threat of their use must be made clear.
It has also brought out an old and tested weapon from the Jan Sangh days–the abolition of Article 370 dealing with the ascension of Jammu and Kashmir to India. The party is hardly bothered that removal of Article 370 will be akin to undoing the ascension itself as it hinges on this very Article. All it can see is that it has a “Muslim” angle which must be used to lure pathologically anti-Muslim groups, even if it hurts the national cause.
In the usual cocksure, overconfident BJP style it talks about controlling price rise and job creation without saying how. Interestingly, Narednrabhai Modi announced soon after the manifesto was released that he would not act out of ill-will against any section of society and would not do anything in personal interest. Whether he will act out of ill-will against any section of society will be known in future, but he looks and sounds credible when he says he will not act in personal interest. After all, somebody who separated from his wife unilaterally even before consummating his marriage (Oh, the cruelty of it!) will not have a family to make him indulge in corrupt practices to feather the family nest.
However, it is not as simple as it looks. Instead of a family he has his cronies, who finance his election, which could cost him up to Rs 1 lakh crore. Crony capitalism has grown during his rule in Gujarat as well as BJP rule in Karnataka and other places. The cronies protect men like Modi and Yedurappa and they, in turn, help men like Adani and Reddy brothers loot the country’s natural resources.
This manifesto rules out FDI in retail to allow local capitalists to monopolise the sector with BJP help. The manifesto is clear on helping out men like Adani and Reddy brothers when it says that the government will decide who will get the right to extract minerals from the earth and how much, at what prices. The BJP has ensured that its financiers are quickly rewarded with large, lucrative contracts. This is crony capitalism at its worst. And crony capitalism is the largest source of corruption. Imagine Modi pledging to remove corruption after spending Rs 1 lakh crore in black money on his election! g