"This Sankalp Patra is one of the government that will continue in power and therefore wants to expedite the path of progress of this country," stated Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley as he began his speech at the party's manifesto launch event at its New Delhi headquarters on Monday. The vision document's launch by Prime Minister Narendra Modi saw the presence of Union Ministers Smriti Irani, Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj, among others. Jaitley stated the foundations upon which the manifesto was planned, the vision it has for India and what went into the making of it.
Talking about the underlying idea behind the 'Sankalp Patra,' he said,
"This manifesto in a season of manifestos is not prepared with a 'tukde tukde' mindset. It's not even prepared with an 'Ivy League mindset.' This has been prepared with a nationalist vision and after a detailed consultation by a committee headed by Shri Rajnath Singh ji across the country, and is, therefore, rooted in Indian realities."
Taking on the previous UPA-led government and other previous Congress governments, he said:
"Those who failed in the past, for decades, not for years, can manufacture fresh ideas for the future. But those who have delivered in the past, have a credibility to offer a road map for the fututre. 2014 was an election in a cyncical environment. There was a high level of corruption, a political paralysis, indecisiveness of leadership, and obviously, there was a government with paralysed decision-making. Our security scenario was also gloomy. Both the BJP and the Prime Ministerial candidate of that time, Narendra Modi, held a hope and therefore in a cyncial enviroment, that was an election which promised hope. Today the environment is entirely different. We have a government which delivered."
He went on to talk about what their security policies entail and what it aims to achieve:
"Our new security doctrine makes India one of the most powerful nations in the world, where our deterrent itself is our best defence. Not just our three conventional forces and our paramilitary forces, but our ability in cyberspace, in outer space, and our new policy of striking at terror at the point of origin, has received global support. This is a new security doctrine for the future and therefore, we will reject all ideas for the balkanisation of India, which many others in the political and public space promised. We will act completely with an idea which promises to make India alone, of the strongest and the most secure countries in the world. "
Talking about India's economy, he remarked:
"These are the first five years that India was globally the fastest growing economy in the world. Our fiscal prudence has been the best ever for a five-year government since 1947. Inflation has been the lowest, compared to the previous government whch left behind a double digit inflation. We are the first government in history which consolidated India's middle class and brought out the fastest depletion of poverty."
Coming back to previous governments' failure in terms of India's economy, he said:
"Previous government had only delivered slogans whereas, our government delivered promises. We are the only government which, for the benefit of the people, including the middle class, not only controlled inflation, but actually gave to India a five-year tenure where taxes were only reduced, never increased. This was done with the idea of putting more money in the pockets of people so that they could spend more. But we expanded our base, we expanded our collections and we transferred our resources to infrastructure and poor, and as a continuing government we will follow the same principle."
Further, he went on to talk about the objective of the party to not just eradicate poverty, but also to increase the number of opportunities in the country:
"The essence of the manifesto, on the salient points given just now, is to deplete poverty in the next 5 years to single digit and then eventually eliminate it. Our object is to give India a world-class infrastructure, we have provided in this manifesto a Rs 100 lakh investment over five years in infrastructure, provided for doubling the income of the farmers. All this will ensure an 8% plus growth rate for India which will retain our position as the world's fastest growing economy, the most exponentially fast-growing middle class, which will then be able to get rid of the menace of poverty in India - a country which will always be regarded as a bright spot in the global economy. This is our mission as far as the next 5 years, and beyond that is concerned. As I said, this manifesto lays down a road map for a continuing government. Those who have performed, their words carry a higher credibility than those who failed in the past. Therefore, the most important fact is that when India is at the cusp of history, covering up for all the lost opportunities, as to make India a land of opportunities."
He also raised certain important questions in his speech for the public to take into account before the elections:
"Once again, what is the kind of government we require? Do we require a visionalist government? Do we require multiple leaders claiming leadership? A fragile government? A failed idea five times experimented in the past. Or do we require a single party majority government with allies representing the federal character of India, as an inbuilt part of that coalition? The 2014-19 experiment has shown that India cannot experiment the adventurism of failed ideas because this is an opportunity that India cannot let go."