Indian Politics Round-up: April 2019
INC releases manifesto, attempts to woo voters with NYAY
Congress’s manifesto for the General Elections 2019 focuses on financially empowering the extremely poor through its NYAY scheme. The lack of jobs is another issue the party addresses with a plan of filling 22 lakh government vacancies by early 2020. The party has also promised startups zero paperwork hassle for the first three years if they return to power. Other prominent proposals are a separate budget for farmers, an increase of education budget to 6%, and a reassessment of Armed Forces (Special Powers) Acts.
By targeting crucial topics like unemployment and ease of business directly, I think Congress has boosted its popularity among the youth and would have, therefore, secured many votes.
BJP gives its manifesto a Bharatiya touch, calls it “Sankalp Patra”
The Bharatiya Janta Party is calling its 2019 election manifesto “Sankalp Patra”, which roughly translates to “Document of Pledges”. The party has laid out 75 promises that it says it would fulfill by the 75th anniversary of India’s independence which falls in 2022.
The list of promises includes dishing out 6000 rupees per year to farmers over the age of 60, pension for small farmers, zero interest on short-term loans for farmers, expansion of programs like Jal Jivan Mission, and 33% reservation for women in Parliament. There are also controversial proposals like the Citizenship Bill and annulment of Article 370 and 35A in BJP’s manifesto.
I can’t wait to see how the voters in the North-east and J&K react to BJP’s insistence on passing the Citizenship Bill and revoking Kashmir’s special status respectively.
Writers unite to encourage voters to vote for a “diverse and equal India”
Over 200 writers including popular names like Amitav Ghosh, Arundhati Roy, and Romila Thapar collectively penned an open letter to the public just before the voting rounds of the General Elections 2019. The letter, published on Indian Cultural Forum’s website, talks about the growing intolerance and undue censorship in the country, basing its argument on the lynching incidents that have occurred in the past few years. Through the open letter, the writers have urged the voters to vote for a “diverse and equal India” to safeguard the “promises made by the Constitution”.
Harish Iyer joins Congress, becomes first Indian politician from LGBT community
An ardent activist of the LGBT community, Harish Iyer, is now a politician as well after joining Congress ahead of the general elections. Upon his entry into politics, Iyer tweeted that he knew “politics is a dirty game” but still decided to join it as he couldn’t let “straight and cis-gender men” take decisions for people. On why he chose Congress, the first-ever openly queer politician reasoned it was due to Party President Rahul Gandhi’s “unwavering support” for minorities including the LGBT community.
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