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Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, March 31, 2014
Jobs for youth, tax breaks for the middle class and infrastructure push for industry — the BJP manifesto will lay bare its plans to kick-start the economy which it accuses the UPA of running into the ground. The middle class and first-time voters -– 120 million of them — will get special attention in the manifesto that the party is expected to release on April 3.

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Special emphasis has been laid on the party’s economic agenda that bears the stamp of its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi who consulted a team of close advisers while making suggestions.

“The manifesto will be more about bringing the economy back on track and providing relief to the aam aadmi and ensuring improved standard of living,” said Yashwant Sinha, a member of the party’s manifesto committee.

Interestingly, Sinha said Ram temple was an emotional issue, not an election issue. The temple, which played a huge role in BJP’s rise, will find a mention but wouldn’t be “over-emphasised”. The temple in Ayodhya should be built either through a judicial decision or a dialogue between the stakeholders, would be the party’s position, as has been in the past.

The BJP could “surprise” the middle class by reducing tax liability. “Yes, we do hope to finalise a quantum jump in the standard deduction for income tax for the middle class,” said a source, adding the BJP parliamentary board would discuss the manifesto on Monday.