With a three-day countdown underway to the first phase of the Lok Sabha 2019 elections, BJP released their manifesto encompassing an array of issues that the party stands for, ranging from national security to Ram Mandir, Aborgation of Article 370 to Triple Talaq and more.
Accentuating on BJP's manifesto, contrasting it with Congress' poor stand on national security and addressing the opposition over Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman spoke exclusively to Republic Media Network
She said, "We have taken the oath to fulfill all the promises today, that is why I believe this is a pure document for us and we will fulfil all the issues."
When questioned over the allegations of the Opposition that BJP has been repeatedly including the issues of -Ram Mandir, Article 370 and unified civil code in their manifestos, the Raksha Mantri saud that these are the issues for which they want to take people ahead with them which is 'time consuming'
She said, "The three issues mentioned, all three are deep and sensitive issues for which yes we do take an oath but while moving foward we want to take people along with us, which is time consuming. But the fact is that, we don't forget it after mentioning once, but we have mentioned it again. Yes we will go forward and take these issues along."
The Union Minister was questioned over Mehbooba Mufti's claim that 'Kashmir will attain freedom from India' and Omar Abdullah's referrence of a 'separate Prime Minister', she said that the BJP stands for 'one Constitution, one flag and one minister.'
She said, "The position of BJP, and before this the position of Jan Sangh, the party that gave us the inspiration for the ideology, we all believed that there should be one Constitution, flag and minister. The founding president of BJP Syama Prasad Mukherjee reached Srinagar where he sacrificed his life has been putting a clear stance on this issue, our position on this stance is clear.
She further criticised Congress' stand on national security as mentioned in the manifesto, saying that calling Lt Gen Hooda for recommendation over national security was a mere facade.
She said, "The manifesto of Congress party, particularly in the national security issue has not been ready. Lt Gen DS Hooda (Retd) is a senior Army personnel and being an ex-servicemen he was making a document over the national security of Congress party, but before that could finish, the Congress manifesto was ready and we don't know if there is anything from his recommendation in the manifesto, but we think there's nothing. So Congress party just as a facade over national security called Lt Gen Hooda for the recommendation but did not take it seriously. The manifesto is to demoralise the Army."
Sitharaman even addressed the issue of 'minority appeasement' citing Mayawati's 'Muslim vote' comment in a rally on Sunday, saying that the 'so-called secular' parties only leverage the minorities for votes, however give them nothing in return.
She said, "It is very sad that for years we have been witnessing the issue of minority appeasement. There was no social or economic development towards the minorities but always were used for vote purposes. But what they do after getting votes with them, is clear. So called secular parties are experts in minority appeasement,"
"Just like the chief minister of Yogi Adityanath said, during Rahul Gandhi's nomination in Wayanad, only the flags of Muslim League were seen not of Congress, should this be the condition of a national party? They pay no heed to 'Sabka Saath Sabka Vikaas," she added.