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As BJP appears on track to fulfil “Modi Ki Guarantee”, here are the top 10 promises it fulfilled from its manifestos in 2014 and 2019

From the construction of Ram Mandir and abrogation of Article 370 to notifying the Citizenship Amendment Act, the BJP government had to travel a rocky road owing to Opposition's constant mudslinging

On 14th April, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its ‘Sankalp Patra’ or manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections. The BJP manifesto was released with the tagline “Modi Ki Guarantee”, a phrase that the ruling party has been using for the past several months in the run up to the elections.

While the BJP has promised UCC, one nation one poll, focus on women empowerment and upliftment of youth and the poor among other promises, it is essential to see how the party has performed in its tenure of 10 years vis-à-vis the promises in their manifestos in 2014 and 2019. Here are top ten promises that BJP made in 2014 and 2019 manifesto that have been fulfilled.

Ram Mandir construction

In both 2014 and 2019 manifestos, the BJP promised to explore the possibilities to facilitate the construction of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. In 2014, the party stated, “BJP reiterates its stand to explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution to facilitate the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya”.

In the 2019 manifesto, the BJP stated, “We reiterate our stand on Ram Mandir. We will explore all possibilities within the framework of the Constitution and all necessary efforts to facilitate the expeditious construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.” Notably, the party was mocked consistently by the opposition for not being able to construct or facilitate the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.

While opposition leaders claimed that the construction of Ram Mandir was delayed by the BJP for political reasons, the actual reason was the land dispute case which was still being heard in the Supreme Court. The apex court finally delivered a verdict in November 2019 unanimously deciding in favour of the Hindu side, paving way for the Ram Mandir construction.

The court directed the government to form a trust to facilitate the Ram Mandir construction. A trust was formed in February 2020. As the world was under the grip of Covid-19 in 2020, any other party at the Centre would likely have used the opportunity to delay the construction.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath monitored the construction. Notably, neither the state government nor the Central government gave any money for the construction. The Ram Mandir was built from the donation received by crores of devotees across the country.

Hindus from across the country donated around Rs 3,500 crores. Several agencies and prestigious institutes provided the much-needed technical support for the Mandir construction. It would not have been possible without the government’s support. The party’s long-standing promise was fulfilled and the much-awaited Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha happened on 22nd January 2024 in the presence of PM Modi, UP CM Yogi, reverted saints and guests. The temple campus is still under construction and may take another two years to complete. Lakhs of devotees visit the temple every day.

Abrogation of Article 370 and 35 A

Under ‘Integrating the Nation – Its vastness and voices’, the BJP promised to abrogate Article 370 in its 2014 manifesto. In the 2019 manifesto, the party not only showed better vision but also talked about annulling Article 35A.

The 2014 manifesto read, “BJP reiterates its stand on Article 370, and will discuss this with all stakeholders and remains committed to the abrogation of this article.” On the other hand, the 2019 manifesto talked about how the ruling party made all the necessary efforts to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir through decisive actions and a firm policy.

Expressing its commitment to remove all obstacles that come in the way of the development of the state, the party reiterated its position to abrogate Article 370. BJP further talked about annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India which was discriminatory against the non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.

On 5th August 2019, Home Minister Amit Shah announced the abrogation of Article 370 and annulled Article 35A of the Indian Constitution. The state was divided into two Union Territories that are Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh. The announcement came as a shock for separatists disguised as so-called Kashmiri activists and the opposition. The matter went to the Supreme Court of India and on 11th December 2023, the apex court upheld the abrogation of Article 370.

Though the matter was in court, it did not stop the Central government from opening doors for the development of Jammu and Kashmir. Since the abrogation, all central schemes which the region was deprived of have been implemented.

There is a sharp drop in terror activities in the region. Furthermore, infrastructure development has increased in Jammu and Kashmir. Few remarkable and unthinkable events that have happened since the abrogation include welcoming change in the scene at Lal Chowk in Kashmir. You will only see the Indian Flag flying high on days like Independence Day and Republic Day. A cinema has opened in Kashmir for the first time in decades.

‘Make in India in Defence’ and defence infrastructure

In both 2014 and 2019 manifestos, one of the major aspects was ‘Make In India’ initiatives in defence. Apart from that, modernisation of armed forces, increase in R&D in the defence sector and development of indigenous defence technologies were announced by the BJP.

Furthermore, fast-tracking defence purchases was also on the table in the manifestos. The BJP also gave an example of AK-203 automatic rifles being made in Amethi in the 2019 manifesto as part of ‘Make in India in Defence’ initiative.

To begin with, let’s talk about the most recent reports of increase in defence export by 20 times compared to UPA regime. On 9th April, OpIndia reported how during the ten years of the Modi government, India’s defence exports have increased by more than 20 times.

This upsurge is attributed to the production of high-quality defence products within the country. Notably, nations like Armenia, Bangladesh, and the Philippines are making multi-crore defence deals with India to import defence hardware including Brahmo’s missile deals from India. Examining the data reveals that during the UPA government’s tenure (2004-14), India exported defence products worth Rs 4,312 crores.

Registering a growth of more than 1900%, defence exports amounted to Rs 88,319 crore in the ten years of the Modi government (2014-2024). In fiscal year 2023-24 alone, defence exports stood at a historic high of Rs 21,083 crores, up from Rs 15,920 crores in 2022-23. This represents a significant increase of 32.5% within one year. It is noteworthy that 60% of these defence exports were from government defence manufacturing institutions, totalling more than Rs 12,000 crores.

Indian defence manufacturers have progressed significantly over the past 10 years. Foreign companies are also coming to India for manufacturing. Notably, Israel’s IWI is collaborating with the PLR company to manufacture rifles in the country, and a Korean company is partnering with L&T to manufacture Howitzer guns.

Likewise, Airbus manufactures C-295 aircraft for the Indian Air Force in Vadodara, Gujarat. Additionally, the Israeli company Elbit Systems and Aerospace in collaboration with Adani gave the Indian Navy its first ‘Made In India’ long-endurance drone, the Drishti 10 Starliner UAV.

To promote self-reliance, the Defence Ministry has initiated the issuance of multiple ‘import embargo’ or negative arms import lists. As of May last year, the Modi government announced 928 military items. These items will be banned phased between December 2023 and 2029. The ‘import embargo’ list means that listed defence hardware will not be imported (barring extreme scenarios) and must only be purchased from Indian manufacturers. So far, the MoD has issued five such lists and it covers items used in fighter planes, trainer aircraft, warships, and different types of ammunition.

The defence manufacturing sector is evolving in India and startups are getting opportunities to make high-end modern weapons for the military. Furthermore, several projects that were stalled for years have progressed exponentially under the Modi government. For instance, a prime example of this is India’s indigenous combat aircraft, the LCA Tejas. Tejas was sanctioned in the 1980s, with its maiden successful flight occurring during the Vajpayee government in 2001. Subsequently, the project continued to progress at a sluggish pace.

The project gained steam under the Modi government. In 2015, Tejas was inducted into the Air Force for the first time. Currently, the Indian Air Force has about 40 Tejas Mk1 aircraft, while it has placed an order for approximately 83 more Tejas Mk1 (improved versions of Tejas Mark-1A) with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL). Recently, the Indian Air Force inducted formidable combat helicopters, which were also long overdue. Additionally, the army has ordered 550 Arjun Mark-1 tanks.

Road and Highways

In the 2014 manifesto, BJP talked about world class highways in the Northeast and Jammu & Kashmir, coastal highways, and better road infrastructure. In the 2019 manifesto, BJP said it planned to build 60,000 KM of National Highways to connect villages with rural roads.

These highways are are part of infrastructure projects such as warehouses and more. The party also promised to double the National Highway length by 2022. Road infrastructure holds the utmost importance in the country’s progress and the Modi government has worked extensively in this sector.

By 2023, 99% of villages are connected by roads. Road construction was 11.6 KM/day in 2013-14. According to data available, merely 4,300 KM of Highways were constructed in that period. However, the pace increased exponentially after the Modi government came to power and it touched 28.3 KM/day in 2022-23.

If we talk about total road construction, it was 7,42,398 KM at the rate of 91/KM per day by July 2023. Total roads by March 2014 stood at 3,81,393 at 80 KM/day.

According to Anurag Jain, Secretary of the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRTH), the last decade has witnessed the construction of 95,000 km of National Highways across the country. Comparing the data to 2014, this translates to an average daily construction of over 28.3 km of highways, marking a substantial 143% increase. 

Railways

In the 2014 manifesto, the BJP promised Pilgrimage Rail, Railway moderisation and modernisation of all stations with requisite infrastructure and public utilities. In 2019, the BJP promised moderisation of railway stations, new version trains such as Vande Bharat Express and more. As of today, there are 51 Vande Bharat trains running across country.

The Indian railway network has undergone substantial transformations over the past decade. Modernisation efforts in the Railways continue with the Modi government allocating substantial funds towards this endeavour. The Railway Budget has witnessed a significant increase, enabling the introduction of trains such as Tejas, Vande Bharat, and Gatimaan Express across the country.

Notably, the Modi government’s most noteworthy achievement in the Railways sector is the electrification of 94% of the network. In 2014, when the Modi government assumed power, only 21,801 km of the country’s railway network was electrified.

Currently, over 61,000 km of the country’s railway network has been electrified. Under the UPA government, the daily electrification rate was 1.42 kilometres, whereas, under the Modi government, it has surged to 14 kilometres per day. The Modi administration has allocated ₹43,346 crore towards electrification efforts.

Moreover, significant progress has been made not only in electrification but also in laying new railway lines, with a total of 25,871 km of new lines established during the Modi government’s tenure.

A substantial amount of funding has been allocated to the Railways during the Modi government’s tenure. In 2014, the Railways received a budget of approximately ₹29,000 crore.

By 2024-25, this budget has surged almost eightfold to ₹2.90 lakh crore. In addition to investments in new lines and electrification projects, the Modi government is also focused on station redevelopment initiatives.

Energy

The BJP’s commitment to renewable sources of energy is visible from the work done in the past ten years. In the 2014 manifesto, renewable sources of energy were mentioned as an important component of India’s energy mix. By 2019, a lot of work was done in the field and the manifesto had a clearer roadmap for the future.

In the 2019 manifesto, the BJP mentioned that India became a global champion in addressing climate change through effective and feasible interventions. By that time, India achieved a cumulative installed renewable energy capacity of 76.87 GW, as well as its stated goal of 175 GW.

According to a press release issued on 6th December 2023 by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, a total of 186.46 GW capacity from non-fossil fuel-based energy resources was installed in the country by 31st October 2023. It included 178.98 GW of Renewable Energy and 7.48 GW of Nuclear Power. In addition, 114.08 GW of capacity is under implementation and 55.13 GW of capacity is under tendering.

Healthcare

The ruling party’s 2014 manifesto talked about telemedicine, mobile healthcare and Indian System of Medicine, including Yoga and AYUSH. By 2019, Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana under Ayushman Bharat provided health cover to 10.74 crore poor families. Furthermore, MBBS seats were increased by 18,000 and PG Medical seats by 12,000. New AIIMS were established.

In the 2019 manifesto, BJP again talked about telemedicine. Accessibility to diagnostics and medicines was also promised. Notably, in 2020, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, there was a sudden change in the health infrastructure. Telemedicine became a necessity. Government of India launched the eSanjeevani app to connect patients to doctors. By February 2023, 10 crore tele-consultations took place on the app making it a huge success.

Furthermore, affordable medicines at Janaushadi Kendra effectively reduced the expenditure on health especially for poor families. As on 31st January 2024, there are 10,607 Janaushadi Kendras operating in the country. These shops have around 1,965 drugs and 293 surgical items at affordable prices.

Judicial reforms

In both the 2014 and 2019 manifestos, the BJP talked about judicial reforms. In 2014, it committed to reforming the criminal justice system to make dispensation of justice simpler, quicker and more effective. In 2019, it promised to work towards the simplification of procedural laws.

The Government of India introduced new criminal laws replacing the British-era IPC, CrPC and Evidence Act. They will replace the existing system on 1st July 2024. The Bharatiya Nyaya (Second) Sanhita, Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha (Second) Sanhita, and the Bharatiya Sakshya (Second) would replace the Indian Penal Code of 1860, Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) of 1973, and Indian Evidence Act, of 1872.

The three bills were first introduced in the Lok Sabha on 11th August, 2023, as the Bharatiya Nyaya Sanhita, the Bharatiya Nagarik Suraksha Sanhita and the Bharatiya Sakshya Bill. They were referred to a parliamentary committee headed by Brij Lal for further examination.

They were passed by the Lok Sabha on 20th December before being passed by the Rajya Sabha on 21st December. The three new criminal code bills became laws after getting assent from President Droupadi Murmu on 25th December. It took India 75 years to get rid of the British-era laws. More details about the laws can be checked here.

Citizenship Amendment Act or CAA

In its 2019 manifesto, the BJP promised to bring the Citizenship Amendment Bill. The manifesto read, “We are committed to the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries escaping persecution. We will make all efforts to clarify the issues to the sections of population from the Northeastern states who have expressed apprehensions regarding the legislation. We reiterate our commitment to protect the linguistic, cultural and social identity of the people of Northeast. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs and Christians escaping persecution from India’s neighbouring countries will be given citizenship in India.”

The Citizenship Amendment Bill (CAB) was first introduced in Parliament on 15th July 2016. It was passed in the Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha on 11th December 2019, within seven months of BJP forming the government. Citizenship Amendment Act came into force after getting assent from the then-President of India, Ramnath Kovind.

It was not possible to notify the CAA Rules due to the protests followed by the COVID-19 pandemic. The government of India, specifically Home Minister Amit Shah, promised that the CAA Rules will be notified as soon as possible. The rules were finally notified on 11th March 2024.

CAA will allow for the persecuted minorities i.e. Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Christians and Jains from three Muslim-majority countries neighbouring India including Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh to seek refuge in India by applying for Indian citizenship. Those who came to India before 31st December 2014 can apply for citizenship under CAA. There is a dedicated portal that they can use to apply for the citizenship.

Women’s reservation

In both the 2014 and 2019 manifestos, the BJP promised 33 per cent reservation for women in parliamentary and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment. The 2014 manifesto read, “Women’s welfare and development will be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and BJP is committed to 33% reservation in parliamentary and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment.”

The 2019 manifesto read, “Women’s welfare and development will be accorded a high priority at all levels within the government, and the BJP is committed to 33% reservation in parliament and state assemblies through a constitutional amendment.”

Women Reservation Bill was introduced in Parliament on 19th September 2024. It was passed by both houses subsequently. As per the law, 33% of the seats in the lower house or the Lok Sabha and the state assemblies. This will include seats reserved for women from the SC/ST community. Though it was passed in parliament, the reservation did not affect the 2024 elections. It will, however affect the 2029 elections. The bill will come into effect after 2027 when a census will be conducted and existing constituencies will be redrawn.

Ayodhra Ram Mandir special coverage by OpIndia

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Anurag
Anurag
B.Sc. Multimedia, a journalist by profession.

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