Focusing on Zero Tolerance towards terrorism and extremism, the ruling BJP on Monday has released its Election Manifesto, in which the one page on National Interest outlines what the party plans once it gets elected again. The party says that it is committed to focus on Make in India in Defence in an effort to enable indigenous production of defence equipment.
Besides fighting against terrorism, it also talks about plans for national security and modernisation of the armed forces. The document highlights the national security interest only and points out the successful surgical strikes and the air strikes that were carried out recently.
The ruling party has reiterated its position, since the time of the Jan Sangh, to the abrogation of Article 370 in Jammu & Kashmir. And has stated its commitment to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir.
According to the manifesto, Article 35A is an obstacle in the development of the state and has promised to take all steps to ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all residents of the state. And for the safe return of the Kashmiri pundits, it has plans to provide financial assistance for the resettlement of the refugees from West Pakistan, Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) and Chhamb.
It promises continuation to follow their policy of giving a free hand to the security forces in combating terrorism. It also states clearly that the Party will ensure that all the purchases of outstanding defense related equipments and weapons are expedited. Also, efforts to equip and strengthen the Armed Forces with modern equipment will be undertaken.
In an effort to ensure self reliance in the defence procurement, effective steps have been undertaken over five years. As an example, it has cited manufacturing of the most modern AK-203 automatic rifles at Amethi under the `Make in India in Defence initiative . The Make in India in Defence will help in generating employment and encourage investment in the defence sector.
It has promised to create more effective framework for the resettlement of the armed forces veterans. Under this effort the Armed forces will start planning for the resettlement of soldiers three years ahead of their scheduled retirement and in accordance with their preferences. This will include provisions for skills training, soft skills training, financial support for higher education, for housing and starting an enterprise.
The document promises to take forward the process of modernizing the Central Armed Police Forces to further increase their capacity and readiness and enable them to effectively combat internal security challenges.
For dealing with internal security challenges the document promises to provide assistance to the states to upgrade their police forces through the Scheme for Modernization of Police Forces . Also encourage expedited police reforms in the states so as to enable the State police forces to deal with new types of crimes like cyber crime and help them to be more sensitive to the citizens, especially the weak and vulnerable sections of the society.
To prevent illegal immigration in the North Eastern states, the manifesto states that effective steps will be taken strengthen border security. Already, a pilot project on the use of technology to strengthen border security (Smart Fencing) was implemented in Dhubri (Assam) and this will be implemented on all borders.
There has been a huge change in the cultural and linguistic identity of some areas due to illegal immigration, resulting in an adverse impact on local people’s livelihood and employment. It plans to complete the National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in these areas on priority. And to combat infiltration in other parts of the country, in the future the party plans to implement the National Register of Citizens in rest of the country as well.
There will also be a focus on creation of developmental and other necessary infrastructure in border areas to ensure that border security is strengthened, and to enable increased participation and benefits for border areas in the country s development and progress.
It has outlined its plans to facilitate easier trade and travel from the neighbouring countries by constructing 14 more integrated check-posts by 2024. Completion of all the proposed integrated check-posts, all trade movement with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan will be conducted through the integrated check-posts.
For the coastal security it has plans of implementing a coastal security scheme and to provide modern equipment and allocating funds to the states for establishing coastal police stations, establishment of National Committee for Strengthening Maritime & Coastal Security, Island Information System and National Academy of Coastal Policing.
Citizenship Amendment Bill
The party promises to protect the linguistic, cultural and social identity of the people of North eastern states and has expressed its commitment for enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries escaping persecution. It has also promised to give citizenship to Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India s neighbouring countries.
To fight against left extremism, the party assures of taking stronger steps to fight left extremism and eliminate it completely in the next few years.