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Farmer welfare, Ram temple on BJP radar

New Delhi: Eyeing a return to power, the BJP made a slew of poll promises on Monday, including expeditious construction of Ram temple, firmly dealing with terrorism, doubling farmers' income in the next three years, making India the third-largest economy globally by 2030, and scrapping Article 370 of the Constitution that gave a special status to Jammu and Kashmir.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi released the 45-page manifesto titled "Sankalpit Bharat, Sashakt Bharat" in the presence of BJP chief Amit Shah and other top leaders of the party, including Rajnath Singh, Sushma Swaraj and Arun Jaitley, three days ahead of the Lok Sabha polls.

In the manifesto, the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) also resolved to annul Article 35A of the Constitution, which says no outsider can own property in Jammu and Kashmir.

On the economic front, the party said it aspired to make India the third-largest economy of the world by 2030, adding, "This implies that we commit to make India a USD 5 trillion economy by 2025 and USD 10 trillion economy by 2032."

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.

It pledged to revise tax brackets to help the middle class if it is voted back to power in the national election starting Thursday. "After providing major tax relief in the recent budget, we are committed to revising the tax slabs and the tax benefits further to ensure more cash and greater purchasing power in the hands of our middle-income families."

It said the purchase of defence equipment would be fast-tracked to strengthen the armed forces, adding that if voted to power, the government led by the party would continue with its approach of zero tolerance towards terrorism.

The security forces would continue to get a free hand in dealing with terrorism, the saffron party said.

Asserting that nationalism was his party's inspiration and inclusion and good governance its mantra, Modi said the BJP's manifesto aimed to make India a developed nation by 2047, 100 years after Independence.

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. Hence, we have set out 75 goals to be achieved by 2022."

The saffron party also promised to implement the NRC (National Register of Citizens) in a phased manner in various parts of the country.

About Jammu and Kashmir, it said, "We reiterate our position since the time of the Jan Sangh to the abrogation of Article 370. We are committed to annulling Article 35A of the Constitution of India as the provision is discriminatory against the non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir."

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