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HindustanTimes Wed,22 Oct 2014

BJP manifesto and promises: what's been done and what's still on paper

Kumar Uttam, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, August 28, 2014
First Published: 10:50 IST(28/8/2014) | Last Updated: 17:20 IST(28/8/2014)

An eventful start, quick delivery on some poll promises, opposition throwing monkey wrench in its works and some real reasons to worry about - Narendra Modi government's 100 days in office has seen several ups and down. 

From setting up a special investigation team in the black money case to getting Parliament's approval to replace the collegium system of appointment of judges in higher judiciary with a National Judicial Commission, both promised in the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) manifesto, the PM has some reasons to cheer about.

If he kept the promise of ending policy paralysis in scrapping the empowered group of ministers and restructuring the Planning Commission, the opening up of defence and railways besides a big push to public-private partnership for infrastructure creation were also in sync with BJP's poll pledge to revive the economy.

Several ministries have already announced some measures and are in the process to do more for BJP's manifesto promise about a Clean Ganga and a open defecation free India.

Modi also kept the promise of engaging proactively with countries in the neighbourhood instead of being led by big power interests when he invited leaders of South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (Saarc) countries to his swearing-in ceremony and made his maiden foreign visit as the PM to Bhutan.

But, higher rates of inflation and corruption – the two central themes of his poll campaign and part of BJP’s manifesto – are yet to see a major change from the past.

Addressing these issues – up to the level of people's satisfaction – remains Modi's biggest challenge.

Not much has been done to address the aspiration of the "neo-middle class" – BJP's new target group – and poll promises like educational scholarship, medical insurance, middle income housing and others are yet to take off.

Read: Modi's fine words must be followed by firm action

BJP's promise to "take up skill development on a mission mode, at an unprecedented scale" is yet to be matched with action. The 'National Multi-skill Mission' proposed in BJP's manifesto still remains on paper.

Opposition's success to stall government's plan to increase foreign direct investment in insurance certainly did not go well with the investors.

The urgency to set up a National Judicial Commission was missing when it came to Modi's promise about requesting the Supreme Court to decide within a year about cases against sitting MPs.

A price stabilisation fund, unbundling of Food Corporation of India, special courts to deal with problem of hoarding and simplification of the tax regime were some key poll promises that have not seen the light of the day.

Poll: Who is the best performing minister in Modi's cabinet?


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