‘Modi ki Guarantee’: BJP relies on one-man show in bid for third term

While the BJP claims economic growth combined with welfarism and aggressive Hindu nationalism, unemployment and inflation remain issues of concern.

Published : Apr 19, 2024 13:37 IST - 5 MINS READ

Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays a copy of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s election manifesto for the general election, in New Delhi on April 14, 2024.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi displays a copy of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party’s election manifesto for the general election, in New Delhi on April 14, 2024. | Photo Credit: Adnan Abidi/REUTERS

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) highlighted four key areas, vowing to improve opportunities for the underprivileged—Gareeb, Yuva, Annadata, and Naari Shakti (GYAN) during the release of the party’s manifesto on April 14, days before voting begins. The general election, which begins on April 19, will be held in seven phases until June 1. Votes are due to be counted on June 4 and results are expected the same day.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, Home Minister Amit Shah, and Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman released the manifesto titled “Modi ki Guarantee” (or “Modi’s Guarantee”) arguing that the Prime Minister is a man of his word and fulfils all promises.

Also Read | ‘The BJP is treating politics as a business’: Jagadanand Singh

Modi has dominated Indian politics since he helped the BJP win the 2014 election by a landslide. He remains popular and has been the party’s star campaigner for the past decade. “India needs a stable government when the world is going through turmoil and conflict,” Modi said at the launch of the manifesto in New Delhi. “Reform, perform is our identity.”

Challenges for the BJP

While Modi’s 10-year record includes strong economic growth, infrastructure projects, welfare handouts, and aggressive Hindu nationalism, surveys suggest unemployment, inflation, and rural distress remain issues of concern in the world’s most populous country despite its strong economy, and addressing these will be Modi’s biggest challenge.

Unemployment was the primary concern of 27 per cent of the 10,000 voters surveyed by Lokniti-CSDS across 19 of India’s 28 states, with rising prices coming second at 23 per cent, The Hindu reported earlier in April. The unemployment rate rose to 5.4 per cent in 2022-23, from 4.9 per cent in 2013-14 just before Modi swept to power, and nearly 16 per cent of urban youth in the 15-29 years age group remained unemployed in 2022-23 due to poor skills and a lack of quality jobs, official data shows.

“Our focus is on the dignity of life...on quality of life, our focus is also on creating jobs through investment,” Modi said after releasing the manifesto. He said the manifesto is focused on creating jobs in sectors such as infrastructure, aviation, railways, electric vehicles, green energy, semiconductors, and pharmaceuticals, among others, in a bid to address discontent at unemployment levels that are rising despite strong economic growth. “India’s youth will not have even imagined the number of opportunities that will come their way,” he told cheering BJP members, including top Union Ministers who sat in the audience wearing stoles featuring the BJP’s lotus symbol.

Modi also vowed to expand welfare programmes, including bringing all Indians above the age of 70 under an existing free health insurance programme and pushing piped cooking gas connections to all houses to follow up on a subsidised cooking gas cylinder programme launched in 2016.

The party also promised once again to enforce a Uniform Civil Code, a proposed federal measure which would combine current religion-based laws that govern marriage, inheritance and divorce.

Other promises included raising the cap on loans for non-farming small and micro borrowers, offering free housing for another three crore poor and keeping up a free grains programme for 80 crore Indians until 2029.

One nation, one election

Additionally, the manifesto talks about implementing the “one nation, one election” initiative, preparing common electoral rolls, abolishing waiting lists for train travel, expanding 5G networks, and organising Ramayana festivals the world over. The party said it will turn India into a global manufacturing hub, and work on making India’s cities more livable. Modi said he has already instructed officials to begin work on policies to be implemented when he returns to office.

The manifesto also stated that the BJP government would continue to focus on a path of low inflation and fiscal prudence to achieve high economic growth. “The ambition of the 1.4 billion people of the country is Modi’s mission,” Modi said. “I am placing this manifesto before the people to seek their blessings. Please bless us ... to increase our strength... implement this manifesto and ensure a developed India.”

‘Manifesto of BJP cannot be trusted’: Kharge

The opposition has also accused Modi’s government of using federal investigative agencies to target them. Two prominent leaders—Delhi’s Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal and Hemant Soren, Chief Minister of Jharkhand—were recently arrested and jailed on corruption charges, which they say were politically motivated. The BJP has denied the opposition’s allegations and has said those facing investigation should fight the matter in the courts. In an apparent reference to the cases, Modi said on April 14 he will continue combating corruption, repeating a vow made in an interview to a local newspaper.

Also Read | ‘The BJP has not learnt its lesson’: Priyank Kharge

Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge also criticised the BJP over its election manifesto, alleging the ruling party of doing nothing huge in years of its governance, which may benefit the youths and farmers of the country. Kharge said that the manifesto of the BJP cannot be “trusted”. “He (PM Narendra Modi) had said that he will double farmers’ income. He had said that he would increase MSP and give a legal guarantee—this is the guarantee. He didn’t do any such big work in his tenure that would benefit all the people of the country. The youth is looking for jobs. Inflation is rising. He is not worried about inflation, unemployment,” Kharge said.

The Congress president further said that the BJP’s manifesto proves that the ruling party has nothing to offer people. “It won’t be right to trust their manifesto again. It proves that he has nothing to offer people,” he added.

(with inputs from Reuters, Bloomberg, PTI, and ANI)

Sign in to Unlock member-only benefits!
  • Bookmark stories to read later.
  • Comment on stories to start conversations.
  • Subscribe to our newsletters.
  • Get notified about discounts and offers to our products.
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide to our community guidelines for posting your comment