BJP Vs Congress; Manifesto for Defence and Soldiers; A Comparison

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BJP Manifesto Current and Last

Given below are extracts from BJP Manifesto 2019, concerning defence forces and CAPF. Extracts from 2014 BJP Manifesto are also given at the end to refresh BJP Commitments and to help readers check delivery of promises made by BJP?

The decisive leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi has fundamentally altered the national security paradigm of India in the last ve years. Looking ahead, we propose to do the following:

Zero-Tolerance Approach to Terrorism

Our security doctrine will be guided by our national security interest only. This is exemplified by the Surgical Strikes and the Air Strikes carried out recently. We will firmly continue our policy of ‘Zero Tolerance’ against terrorism and extremism and will continue to follow our policy of giving a free hand to our security forces in combating terrorism.

National Security

Strengthening our Armed Forces – We will speed up the purchases of outstanding defense related equipment’s and weapons. In order to equip the Armed Forces with modern equipment, we will continue to take focused steps to strengthen the strike capability of the Armed Forces.
Self-reliance in defence sector – In order to ensure self-reliance in procurement of defence equipment, we have taken several effective steps in the last five years. For instance, the most modern AK-203 automatic rifles are being manufactured at Amethi under our ‘Make in India in Defence’ initiative. We are committed to focus on ‘Make in India in Defence’ to enable indigenous production of defence equipment. This will also generate employment and encourage investment in the defence sector.

Welfare of Soldiers

We have already demonstrated our commitment to the welfare of our veterans with the implementation of long delayed OROP. To take this commitment forward, we promise to create a more effective framework for the resettlement of our Armed Forces veterans. Under this model, the Armed Forces will start planning for the resettlement of soldiers three years before their retirement and in accordance with their preferences. This will include provision for skills training, so skills training, financial support for higher education, for housing and for starting an enterprise.

Modernization of Police Forces

We will continue to take forward the process of modernizing the Central Armed Police Forces to further increase their capacity and readiness and enable them to effectively combat internal security challenges.
We will provide assistance to the states to upgrade their police forces through the ‘Scheme for Modernization of Police Forces’. We will encourage expedited police reforms in the states so as to enable the State police forces to deal with new types of crimes like cyber crime and help them to be more sensitive to the citizens, especially the weak and vulnerable sections of the society.

Reinforcing Border Security

We will focus on creation of developmental and other necessary infrastructure in border areas to ensure that border security is strengthened, and to enable increased participation of and benefits for border areas in the country’s development and progress.
We have completed building six integrated check-posts with another under construction to facilitate easier trade and travel from the neighboring countries. We will further ease the movement of goods and people by constructing 14 more integrated check-posts by 2024. Aer completion of all the proposed integrated check-posts, all trade movement with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan will be conducted through the integrated check-posts.

Coastal Safety

After effectively strengthening coastal security through implementation of a coastal security scheme to provide modern equipment and allocating funds to the states for establishing coastal police stations, establishment of National Commiee for Strengthening Maritime & Coastal Security, Island Information System and National Academy of Coastal Policing, we will continue to take steps for ensuring security of India’s long coastline.

Citizenship Amendment Bill

We are committed to the enactment of the Citizenship Amendment Bill for the protection of individuals of religious minority communities from neighbouring countries escaping persecution. We will make all efforts to clarify the issues to the sections of population from the Northeastern states who have expressed apprehensions regarding the legislation. We reiterate our commitment to protect the linguistic, cultural and social identity of the people of Northeast. Hindus, Jains, Buddhists and Sikhs escaping persecution from India’s neighbouring countries will be given citizenship in India

Combating Left Wing Extremism

We have already taken strong actions to reduce le wing extremism to a very large extent and limited them to small pockets. We are committed to taking necessary and effective steps against le wing extremism to eliminate this menace in the next ve years. In the last five years, we have focussed on the development of economic and social infrastructure such as roads, mobile towers, schools and medical facilities in the tribal areas affected by left wing extremism and we will continue to make efforts in this direction.

Jammu & Kashmir- Article 370

In the last five years, we have made all necessary efforts to ensure peace in Jammu and Kashmir through decisive actions and a firm policy. We are committed to overcome all obstacles that come in the way of development and provide adequate financial resources to all the regions of the state. 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 non-permanent residents and women of Jammu and Kashmir. We believe that Article 35A is an obstacle in the development of the state. We will take all steps to ensure a safe and peaceful environment for all residents of the state. We will make all efforts to ensure the safe return of Kashmiri Pandits and we will provide financial assistance for the resettlement of refugees from West Pakistan, Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir (POJK) and Chhamb.

BJP Manifesto for 2014

Deal with cross border terrorism with a firm hand. 
R&D in defence – developing indigenous defence technologies. 
Global platform for defence hardware manufacture and software production. 
Maximization of Technology transfer in defence manufacturing. 
Dedicated Defence Universities. 
Greater participation of Armed Forces in Ministry of Defence decision-making process. 
Implement One rank, One pension. 
War Memorial to recognize and honour gallantry of our soldiers.
Standing Veteran Commission

 

Cong Manifesto Current

Cong released its manifesto for Lok Sabha Elections 2019. Extracts of promises concerning defence forces and ex-servicemen are given herewith:
National Security

National security is dependent on a sound defence policy, a sound foreign policy, and wise leadership. National security is not enhanced by chest-thumping or exaggerated claims.

Congress will reverse the trend of declining defence spending under the NDA government, and will ensure that defence spending is increased to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces. We will expedite all modernisation programmes of the armed forces in a transparent manner.
Congress promises to take strategic and hard measures to defend the territorial integrity of India and ensure the safety of our people.
The concept of national security in the 21st century has expanded beyond defence of the territory to include data security, cyber security, financial security, communication security and security of trade routes. Congress promises to evolve suitable policies to address each of these subjects.

Congress will establish the office of Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) to be the principal adviser to the Government on matters relating to defence.
Congress will provide a statutory basis to the National Security Council (NSC) and the office of National Security Adviser (NSA). Their powers and functions will be defined under the law and both authorities, and the agencies under them, will be accountable to Parliament.

The BJP government left the National Security Advisory Board in limbo between January 2015 and October 2016 and then truncated the body. Congress will re-establish the NSAB, provide a statutory basis to the body, appoint experts from different disciplines and ensure that it will function as a permanent, professional advisory body advising the NSC and the government.

Congress promises to rapidly expand domestic capacity to manufacture defence and security equipment. We will create manufacturing capacities in the public sector and in pre-qualified, security-cleared private sector companies.

Internal Security

Congress promises that it will keep a vigilant eye on the security situation and take every measure that is required to maintain law and order and to provide a sense of security for every citizen and for every visitor to India.

The key to internal security is intelligence, analysis and quick response. Congress had put in place the Multi-Agency Centre and the NSG regional hubs. Congress had also proposed to establish the National Counter-Terrorism Centre and NATGRID. The BJP government dismantled the preparatory work and wasted 5 years. NCTC was put in the cold storage and NATGRID is yet to be made operational. Congress promises that NCTC will be set up within 3 months and NATGRID will be made operational by December 2019.

The most serious threats to internal security emanate from (1) terrorism, (2) infiltration of militants, (3) Maoism or Naxalism and (4) caste or communal violence. Congress believes that each of these threats deserves a separate and distinct response.

We promise an uncompromising approach and hard measures to put an end to terrorism and to the infiltration of militants.

In the case of Maoism, the Congress will resolutely fight violent activities. At the same time, Congress will address developmental challenges in the areas concerned, enlist the support of the people and win over the Maoist cadres.

In the case of caste or communal violence, Congress will put down such violence with a firm hand using the police forces at its command, apprehend the instigators and bring them to justice. There will be no room for self-appointed vigilante groups and moral policing brigades.

Congress will work with State Governments to increase the strength of State police forces, fill all vacancies, equip and train them, and deploy them impartially to maintain law and order and to detect and punish violators and instigators.

Congress promises to take strong action with respect to crimes against women, Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and minorities. The law will be applied on the perpetrators without fear or favour. They will not be allowed to walk on the streets with a sense of impunity.

Congress will hold the District Administration responsible for riots, caste or communal violence, large scale crimes against women, and for the widespread breakdown of law and order.

Border Security

India’s borders must be secure. Secure borders protect the sovereignty and integrity of India.

Congress promises to enhance border security by undertaking a number of measures.

We will increase the strength of border guarding forces — BSF, SSB, ITBP and Assam Rifles — and post them on or close to the border to prevent infiltration, illegal immigration and smuggling.

We will construct modern, well-equipped Integrated Border Outposts to provide good working and living conditions for the forces. The distance between 2 border outposts will be reduced. The period of posting in high altitude border outposts will be reduced to 3 months at a time.

We will accelerate the construction of border roads along all borders of India, especially, the India-China border. We will enhance the capacity of the Border Roads Organisation and create separate divisions to build roads along the India-China and the India-Myanmar borders.

Ex-Servicemen

Under the UPA Governments, Congress accepted the principle of One Rank One Pension (OROP) and took 3 steps in 2006, 2010 and 2013 towards implementing the same. In February 2014, the UPA Government decided to close the gap for all retirees in all ranks. Ex-servicemen believe that the BJP Government has not implemented OROP to their satisfaction. Congress promises to remove the anomalies in the implementation of OROP.

Congress promises to formulate and implement a policy of compensation to the families of martyrs that will include full pay and allowances, funding children’s education, a government job for a member of the martyr’s family and suitable monetary compensation.

Congress will formulate and implement a policy that will allow Armed Forces personnel, who retire after a period of colour service or earlier, lateral entry into the civil services based on their qualifications.

We will also allow Armed Forces personnel who retire before the age of 40 years to enter the Central Armed Police Forces at suitable levels based on their qualifications and physical fitness.

Congress promises to substantially expand the capacity of the Armed Forces medical corps and hospitals to cater to the needs of ex-servicemen and their families.

Congress will revise the procedure to determine the disability of injured armed forces personnel and make the determination final subject to an appeal only at the instance of the disabled person. All pending appeals filed by the Ministry of Defence will be withdrawn.

CAPF

The Central Armed Police Forces (CAPF) are our first line of defence at our borders. They are also the force of choice when there is a breakdown of law and order. Thousands of jawans have sacrificed their lives in the discharge of their duties. Congress promises to enhance the capabilities of the force and to improve the welfare of our jawans.

We will increase the strength of the CAPFs to meet the growing requirements of border security and internal security

At any given time, an adequate number of battalions will be on rest, recuperation and training and will not be deployed on operational duties.

Congress promises to ensure increased representation of women to achieve a minimum of 33 per cent in the force strength of CISF, CRPF and BSF. Every effort will be made to induct more women into the other border guarding forces, namely, ITBP, SSB and Assam Rifles.

We will enhance the facilities of health, education and housing for the personnel of the CAPFs and their families to bring them on par with the facilities provided for the Armed Forces. We will set up schools on the model of Sainik schools to enhance educational opportunities for their children.

Congress promises to enhance the status of the jawan and the benefits to the families of jawans in cases were the jawan dies in action.

We will set up a Committee to draft new Service Rules for personnel of the CAPFs.

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