Both the BJP and the Congress are towing the same line on populist measures even though they stand apart on ideological issuesindia Updated: Apr 08, 2009 10:14 IST
Manifestos of the two major political parties are out and the flavor of the election is undoubtedly populist. On some issues, especially the populist ones, both the BJP and the Congress seem to be towing the same line. Days after the Congress promised rice and wheat for 3 rupees a kilo for those below poverty line, the BJP said it would do the same for a rupee less. Both parties pledge interest relief for farmers and infrastructure development for rural India. To the urban population, both promise low cost housing. But the stark contrast lies in the secular stance of the Congress vis-a-vis the BJP’s Hindutva agenda.
Some difference is also apparent in the two parties’ approach to fighting terror. The BJP thinks stern laws are the way out, while Congress believes that only a united India can fight terror. On foreign policy, the BJP has a more muscular approach centered around Pakistan, while the Congress says its policies are India-centric.