The BJP today promised to give 35 kg rice per month at Rs two per kg for BPL families, which is seen as a counter to Congress' offer and revived its pet Hindutva themes of rebuilding Ram temple at Ayodhya and abrogation of Article 370 giving special status to Jammu and Kashmir as it released its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
The saffron party also promised to make available wheat at Rs 3.5 per kg.
The BJP manifesto comes after 11 years as the party had released NDA manifestos along with its coalition partners in 1999 and 2004.
The BJP had then refrained from making any reference to the Ram Temple issue, saying it remained on the party's agenda but was not a part of the NDA's national agenda for governance.The party promised to enact strong POTA-like laws to tackle terrorism.
BJP also sought to reach out to the armed forces promising them exemption from income tax and introduce 'One Rank, One Pension' scheme. They also promised a separate pay commission for the armed forces.
In another populist promise, the party said it would raise the slab of tax exemption of salaried class to Rs three lakh per annum. For women, the limit would be Rs 3.5 lakh per annum.
Reaching out to farmers, the BJP said it will waive off all current loans and provide fresh loans at four per cent interest rate.