Manifesto covers of Congress (left) and BJP (right)
Days after the Congress announced a slew of promises in its manifesto, the ruling BJP on Monday came out with its own ‘Sankalp Patra’ (vision document) for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. While the highlight of the Congress manifesto was the party’s NYAY scheme, which guarantees minimum income for poor families, the BJP has promised houses for all. The BJP has also included some of its 2014 promises that remained unfulfilled, including the construction of Ram Temple and implementing Uniform Civil Code.
With both parties announcing their vision for the next five years to rule the nation, we are bringing you a comparison between the manifestos of the Congress and the BJP:
Congress on poverty: In a bid to eradicate poverty and ensure a “life of dignity” to all Indians, the Congress promised to introduce the Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) under which Rs. 72,000 per year will be transferred to the poorest 20 per cent households in India. It will be transferred to the woman in the household, as far as possible.
BJP on poverty: On poverty, the BJP promised to bring the percentage of families living below the poverty line to a single digit in the next five years. The party promised to provide subsidized sugar (at Rs. 13 per kg per family per month) to 80 crore people from poor and lower-middle-income families.
Congress on jobs and employment: The Congress party, in its manifesto, has pledged to make job creation, both in the public and the private sector, its no. 1 priority. The Congress party promised to provide 34 lakhs jobs in the public sector by filling up central and state government vacancies before March 2020.
BJP on jobs and employment: BJP promised to create opportunities of employment to youth by providing more support to the 22 major 'Champion sectors' in the Indian economy. The BJP also said that it will launch a new scheme to provide collateral-free credit up to ₹50 lakh for entrepreneurs and will create a ‘Seed Start-up Fund’ of Rs 20,000 crore.
Congress on farmers’ welfare: For farmers, Congress party promised remunerative prices, lower input costs, and assured access to institutional credit. The Congress party promised to bring a separate ‘Kisan Budget’ (farmer budget) which will be dedicated to the farmers. The Congress also promised to establish a permanent National Commission on Agricultural Development and Planning.
BJP on farmers’ welfare: Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana, which was launched to ensure financial support to farmers owning land up to 2 hectares, will now further expanded and will cover all the farmers in the country. The BJP has also promised pension to small and marginal farmers of 60 years and above the age. He saffron party said it will also provide interest-free Kisan Credit Card loans for 1-5 years on the condition of prompt repayment of the principal amount.
Congress on health services: The Congress party has promised to enact the Right to Healthcare Act and guarantee every citizen free diagnostics, out-patient care, free medicines and hospitalisation, through a network of public hospitals and enlisted private hospitals. If elected to power, the Congress has also vowed to double the expenditure on healthcare to 3 per cent of GDP by 2023-24.
BJP on health services: The BJP promised to set up 1,50,000 Health and Wellness Centres (HWCs) by 2022. In its election manifesto, the BJP also said that it will create an essential devices list and a separate pricing policy for medical devices to ensure their accessibility and affordability to the masses.
Congress on education: If elected to power, the Congress party said that it will make school education from Class I to Class XII in public schools compulsory and free. The party also promised to double the budget allocation for Education to 6 per cent of GDP by 2023-24.
BJP on education: The BJP announced that it will open 200 more Kendriya Vidayalalas and Navodaya Vidayalas by 2024. For higher education, the BJP promised to provide free access to the ‘National Digital Library of India’ for selected journals. With an aim to ensure innovation and quality research, the ruling party pledged to incentivise the industry to collaborate with scientific labs and technological institutions. To enhance the quality of education, the BJP also promised to establish National Institutes of Teachers’ training.
This article contains a comparative analysis of the BJP and Congress party's manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections. We are not giving you any judgmental views and everything in this article is what the two leading parties have promised to do in the next five years if elected to power. It is purely up to the readers to decide which party has presented a better vision to lead the country for the next five years. Also, do share your feedback in the comment box below.