BJP to release its manifesto on Friday
The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) will release its Sankalp Patra (vision document/manifesto) on Friday, a week before the last day of campaigning on February 6. In 2015, the BJP had released its manifesto just two days before the last day of campaigning.
“Union minister Nitin Gadkari will release the BJP’s Sankalp Patra for the assembly elections,” Ashok Goel Devraha, BJP’s media head for the Delhi Assembly elections, said.
While the party is targeting the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) on freebies and is largely keeping the ongoing protest at Shaheen Bagh against the controversial Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2019, (CAA) at the centre of its election campaign, the party’s manifesto is likely to focus on the subsidy on electricity and water, apart from other development plans, especially infrastructure. The BJP has been attacking the AAP for stalling development work in the city.
Senior BJP leaders said the party, which has been speaking in different voices on the issue of subsidy, is likely to present its plan regarding the two essential services—water and electricity. In its 2013 manifesto, the BJP had promised to cut tariff by 30% if it comes to power. But in 2015, it promised reduction in rate of electricity and rationalisation of water tariff without specifying the percentage.
Delhi BJP chief Manoj Tiwari had previously said the party will not discontinue the benefits which people are getting at present. He, in fact, promised “five times more benefits”.
A senior BJP leader said that though freebies are not a good idea “we can’t withdraw with people are already getting”. “It (the subsidies) will continue when the BJP comes to power in Delhi. But we will have to find a way to ensure that the government doesn’t suffer loses,” the leader said.
While campaigning in their areas, a large number of BJP candidates are talking about the subsidy given by the AAP government. “We are telling people that the subsidy will continue. But we are also telling them that the quality of water has gone down as the samples collected from Delhi failed the quality test conducted by the Bureau of Indian Standards,” a candidate said.
Recently, water quality had become a flashpoint between the Delhi and the Centre governments after the water samples collected from Delhi failed the BIS quality test. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while addressing a rally at the Ramlila Grounds in last month, had said the “supply of drinking water” was the biggest problem in Delhi.
The party’s manifesto committee, headed by Union health minister Harsh Vardhan, has sought suggestions from party members regarding key issues. Union minister Prakash Javadekar, who is in-charge of the Delhi assembly elections, held a meeting with the manifesto committee members and senior leaders to discuss the issues which the party plans to add to its vision document.