India’s Modi makes election vow to remove Kashmir’s special rights

PM Narendra Modi

"Nationalism is our inspiration", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at the release of the BJP's election manifesto at the party headquarters in New Delhi.

Questioning the BJP-led government on its earlier promises made in the manifesto for the 2014 elections, the Congress also released a list of 125 questions on "broken promises".

With the manifesto tagline "Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat", the BJP promised to deliver on 75 promises by the 75th year of Independence in 2022 and pave the way for making India a developed nation by 2047 - the 100th anniversary of Independence.

The passing of the Citizenship bill was included in the manifesto.

Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley Sunday unveiled campaign themes and other materials of the party's election campaign, with "Phir ek baar, Modi sarkar (Modi government, once more)" as the tag line. "We will preserve the identity of the states".

Political leaders in Muslim-majority Kashmir, where India is fighting an armed rebellion against its rule, have warned that repealing the law would lead to widespread unrest. People have now realised that their promises remain only on their website as they adopt gimmicks to stay in power.

The main opposition Congress Party led by Rahul Gandhi is seeking alliances with regional parties to thwart Modi, accusing the BJP of undermining India's secular foundations.

PM Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi

The party promised that it would continue with the simplification of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) process by engaging in dialogue with all the stakeholders.

But over the last month, support for Modi's Hindu nationalist party has grown following a spike in tension with Pakistan, the polls say.

The national elections will see close to 900 million voters cast their ballots in almost a million polling booths - the world's biggest ever democratic exercise.

The "Sankalp Patra" (document of resolve) of the BJP had 75 definitive, time-bound targets for the country, he said, adding, "We want people to hold us accountable".

People walk past the Election Commission of India office building in New Delhi, India March 11, 2019.

Voters will elect 543 of 545 MPs to India's lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha.

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