DELHI: 09 Apr 2014

The Social Democratic Party of India (SDPI) has termed the much-delayed BJP manifesto for the ongoing 2014 Lok Sabha elections as old wine in new bottle to hoodwink the masses of the country. The Hindutwa and the Corporate agenda are the hallmark of the manifesto.

SDPI National General Secretary Afsar Pasha in a statement said that the manifesto is full of rhetoric minus the crucial steps that would be undertaken to achieve the stated objectives. BJP harping on development is a big farce, a camouflage to dupe secular Indians to thwart their unity against communal, divisive, Muslim bashing, hate filled ideology of Sangh Pariwar.

Pasha said since 1996, all BJP election manifestos, except when it did not issue one in 1999, have highlighted the hardcore Hindutwa agenda. The BJP is no different today, it cannot be anything else but the political arm of the RSS. A clear declaration to sow deeper the poison of communal polarization and to seek a consolidation of the ‘Hindu vote-bank’.

Pasha said that in order to propel the Hindutwa agenda the BJP in the manifesto has reiterated to build Mandir in Ayodhya where once Babri Masjid stood. However, with a caveat this time that it shall be done within the ‘Constitution’s framework’. This begs the question if the destruction of the Babri Masjid was done within the Constitution’s framework. The manifesto speaks of “modernizing” Madrasas. Obviously in the name of modernization, BJP will attempt to destroy the character of traditional Islamic institutions, he expressed apprehension.

Other issues of the Hindutwa agenda in the manifesto includes Uniform Civil Code will be applied; Article 370 to be scrapped; Kashmir Pundits will be given “justice”.

He said both on corruption and economic policies, there is little difference between the Congress and the BJP. The corporate agenda is in full show. There is a talk of privatization of all the major sectors and foreign investment is welcome. There is a talk of poor but obviously the Modi formula of removing the corruption is enriching the already rich further in the hope that some of the wealth generated will slowly trickle down to the poor. Obviously this will further increase economic disparity.