Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah, display copies of their party's election manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi April 8, 2019.
The BJP promised a capital investment of 100 trillion Indian rupees ($1.44 trillion) on infrastructure by 2024, to help create jobs for the millions of youth entering the workforce every year.
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Modi's BJP has consistently advocated ending Kashmir's special constitutional status, which prevents non-residents from buying property in Indian-administered Kashmir, arguing that such laws have hindered its integration with the rest of the country. Referring to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik's statement that there was no threat to Article 370 in the state, Abdullah said that the BJP should send him a copy of its manifesto. He said the party manifesto is a "multi-layered and multi-dimensional" document that addressed the expectations and aspirations of all sections of the society, and it contained "jan ke mann ki baat".
The national elections will see close to 900 million voters cast their ballots in almost a million polling booths - the world's biggest ever democratic exercise. Endorsing speeches by party colleagues at the manifesto launch, Modi asserted nationalism is BJP's inspiration, inclusion its philosophy and good governance its mantra.
It dismissed the BJP manifesto as anti-farmer, despite its pledge of a pension scheme for small and marginal farmers who make up more than 80 percent of India's estimated 263 million farmers, with landholdings smaller than 2 hectares [5 acres].
Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the BJP should have come out with a maafinama (letter of apology) instead of a manifesto.