Lok Sabha elections

The Great Electoral Debate: BJP’s Modi’s Guarantee or Congress’ Nyay Patra?

Congress of 2024 is much better than its 2009 version, much closer to the common man. Rahul Gandhi witnessed the suffering of the poor people during his visit to India. This has been revealed in the election manifesto of Congress this year. On the other hand, BJP's election manifesto is called 'Modi's Guarantee'. BJP's manifesto this year is mainly based on cultural nationalism. They emphasized 14 issues. A comparative analysis was done by Debasis Mithiya

The 18th Lok Sabha election has started to form the new government of the country. Voting will continue for about one and a half months. The entire country is busy with propaganda and counter-propaganda keeping him in front. Once upon a time, the main tool of election campaigns was the ‘Election Manifesto’. Election manifestos are promises of political parties. If a particular political party comes to power, the manifesto says what they will do for the people of the country in the coming days. Eradication of poverty, solution of the unemployment problem, improvement of agriculture and farmers, empowerment of women through self-reliance, industrial development and increase in GDP – these are more or less the promises in the election manifesto. There is also talk of social justice. It mentions what the foreign policy will be, and what steps the party will take to protect the country’s security and sovereignty if it comes to power.

If you listen to the election campaign now, you will understand that the election manifesto has lost its relevance. Almost no one is treading the edge of the manifesto in the campaign. Yet following tradition all national parties are still expressing it. The importance of election manifestos is understood only when a political party fulfils or attempts to fulfil election promises after forming the government. In this Lok Sabha election, on the one hand, the NDA alliance of 38 parties led by the BJP is fighting to regain power, while the INDIA bloc of 26 parties led by the National Congress is trying to oust the BJP from the ‘Delhi Masanad’. Let’s see what benefits the BJP or its main rival Congress promises to the people in the coming days if they come to the government in the 18th Lok Sabha elections (2024).

‘Modi’s Guarantee’ vs ‘Congress Nyay Patra’

BJP, on April 14, the ruling BJP released its election manifesto for this election. BJP’s election manifesto is called ‘Modi’s Guarantee’. BJP’s manifesto this year is mainly based on cultural nationalism. They emphasized 14 issues. They announced that they will work in the coming days to improve the four pillars of a developing India – women, youth, farmers and the poor. If they form the government, they will deliver free piped gas and solar electricity to all homes to increase self-esteem and quality of life.

Congress, on the other hand, the opposition National Congress released its election manifesto on April 7 saying that the country’s justice system has suffered the most during the last 10 years of BJP rule. To reverse it, the Congress named its election manifesto ‘Nyay Patra’. Their manifesto emphasized the 5 main pillars of Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra – youth, farmers, women, workers and marginalized people. The main pillars of the Congress Manifesto are ‘Work’, ‘Health’ and ‘Public Welfare’.

Employment for Youth

At least 1.8 crore youth will exercise their right to vote for the first time in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. Those who are 18-19 years old. To win their hearts, both parties promised to increase the employment and self-reliance of the youth voters in their manifestos.


·It has promised to make government recruitment transparent by implementing the law against question leakage. Government vacancies will continue to be filled up to the specified time.

·In addition to making India a world-class manufacturing hub, employment growth in key manufacturing sectors will continue.

·To encourage self-employment schemes, the loan amount under ‘Mudra Yojana’ will be doubled to Rs. 20 lakhs.


  • 30 lakh government vacancies will be appointed.
  • A new ‘Right to Apprentice Act’ will be introduced to provide a one-year apprenticeship to graduates and diploma holders below 25 years of age.
  • A one-time grant will be in place for applicants who are unable to appear for the qualifying public examination between April 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Development of Women

Forty nine percent of the country’s total voters are women. As a result, both parties have jumped to win their hearts.


  • Three crore rural women will become millionaires.
  • Cooking gas will be piped to each kitchen. Hostels and crèches will be provided near workplaces for working women.
  • Integrating self-help groups with the service sector will increase new income opportunities.
  • Enact the Women’s Empowerment Act to ensure representation of women in the Lok Sabha and the Legislative Assembly.


  • Announced the launch of the ‘Mahalakshmi Project’ to empower women. They will also provide financial assistance of Rs 1 lakh annually to the oldest woman of every very poor family in India. This system will continue until the family rises above the poverty line.
  • Reserve half of central government jobs for women from 2025.
  • The number of working women’s hostels in the country will be doubled, with at least one Savitribai Phule hostel in every district.

Honour of the Farmer

The actual number of farmers in the country varies from study to study. Although this difference in numbers is noticeable, according to the calculations of the International Labor Organization, at the end of 2022, 43 percent of the country’s people will be involved in agriculture. Surprisingly, 59 percent of women are involved in agriculture. Naturally, both parties are desperate to win their hearts in the elections. Hence, both BJP and Congress have given extra importance to the development of farmers.


  • Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi and Crop BimaYojana will continue.
  • MSP will be increased from time to time. Increasing farmer’s income from seed sowing to crop sale.
  • Millet will be established as a superfood. Pradhan MantriMatsyaSamadaYojana and Dairy Cooperative Societies will be expanded.


  • Appropriate measures will be taken to pay the Minimum Support Price (MSP) to the farmers as recommended by the Swaminathan Committee.
  • The farmers’ long-standing demand for legal recognition of MSP will be granted.
  • Appoint a Standing Commission on Agricultural Credit – whose task it is to measure agricultural credit given to farmers from time to time and review the extent to which such credit can be remitted.

Poverty Alleviation

By the end of 2023, the number of households living below the poverty line is 11.28 percent of the total households. In terms of numbers, 23 crore people are still poor in India.


  • Free ration distribution will continue for the next 5 years.
  • Making the country self-reliant in the production of pulses, edible oil and vegetables and ensuring food for every poor.
  • Purified drinking water will reach every house through the pipeline and free electricity through PM Surya Ghar Yojana.


·The aim of Congress’s ‘Naya’ project is ‘not to create poverty, but to eradicate poverty’. If the National Congress comes to power, it will eliminate the poverty of 23 crore people within 10 years.


After the Covid-19 pandemic, the issue of health has become important. The BJP, in its manifesto, has highlighted how it has tackled the crisis. The Congress in its manifesto has promised insurance like the Rajasthan government’s model.


  • AIMS will strengthen its network to provide high-quality health services across the country.
  • ‘PM-ABHIM’ will be expanded to strengthen the healthcare infrastructure.
  • It will expand the network of public medicine centers to provide quality low-cost medicines to citizens across the country.


  • Rajasthan model of cashless health insurance up to Rs 25 lakh will be adopted to make healthcare universal.
  • It has promised that all public health centres like hospitals, clinics, primary health centres, mobile health-care units, dispensaries and health camps will get free treatment. Free health services will include various pathological tests, diagnosis, treatment, surgery, medication, rehabilitation and palliative care.
  • Budget allocation for health will be incrementally increased every year to 4 percent of total expenditure by 2028-29.

Senior Citizens

Both BJP and Congress have promised several schemes and initiatives for senior citizens. Especially promising ways to solve health problems.


  • Ayushman Bharat Yojana is to be extended to senior citizens above 70 years of age.
  • Will collaborate with state governments to increase pilgrimage opportunities for senior citizens across the country.


  • The Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016 will be strictly enforced.
  • Under the National Social Assistance Program will provide a monthly pension of Rs 1000 to senior citizens, widows and disabled persons.
  • Will resume concessions for senior citizens on rail and bus travel.

Environmental Protection

Over the years, environmental issues have been on the political manifesto.


  • To achieve and maintain annual average air quality in all regions of the country, the National Clean Air Program will be implemented. 60 cities have pledged to meet national air quality standards by 2029.
  • Step by step major rivers of the country will be restored to health and those rivers will be cleaned.


  • Strengthen the National Clean Air Program to address air pollution issues as a matter of urgency.
  • An independent Environment Protection and Climate Change Authority will be established. who will work to protect the quality of the environment and implement ‘national and state’ climate change plans.

The Economy

Just as the BJP has promised to make India the third-largest economy, the Congress has promised to double the country’s GDP in the next ten years.


  • Making India the third-largest economic power.
  • Reducing inflation and increasing India’s economic efficiency.
  • Increasing employment, self-employment and livelihood opportunities for citizens.
  • Taxpayers play an important role in strengthening the economy hence their extra respect.


  • GDP will double in the next 10 years.
  • Enact a law to specify and protect the rights of gig and unorganized workers and enhance their social security.
  • The government will support free trade and rule-based international trade.
  • The tax structure will be designed in such a way that it will help increase employment and wages as well as encourage investment and profit generation.

National Security


  • Re-establish ‘Military Theater Command’ for more efficient operations.
  • Development of strong infrastructure along India-China, India-Pakistan and India-Myanmar borders.
  • It will ensure that development and welfare schemes reach the people living in areas affected by the ultra-left.
  • The Armed Forces and the Central Armed Police Force will be equipped with modern weapons, equipment and technology for quick disposal of existing and emerging threats.


  • Agnipath scheme will be cancelled.
  • Develop a coherent ‘National Security Strategy’.
  • CDS will institutionalize the recruitment process to ensure transparency and military consensus in recruitment.
  • One Rank One Pension will be introduced as per the order of the UPA Government on 26 February 2014.

There is a wide gap between election promises and their fulfilment in reality. Common people forget what the ruling party had promised before coming to the government while gathering bread and sustenance. There is no time to see how many promises have been fulfilled! The ruler exploits this forgetfulness of the people. While releasing the manifesto for this year’s elections, the BJP said that it has fulfilled all the promises it made while running the government in the last 10 years.

Statistics say otherwise. Apart from the promise of the construction of Ram Mandir, and abrogation of Article 370 in Kashmir, BJP has not made any other election promises. 15 lakh in the bank account of every family and promised to bring down the percentage of families living below the poverty line to single digits. No money has been deposited in anyone’s account. 23 crore people are still poor in India. By the end of 2023, the number of households living below the poverty line has reached 11.28 percent. That is, the manifesto’s promise to eradicate poverty has not been realized. A few special areas were identified separately and were said to generate employment. 2 crore unemployed people will get jobs in a year. Where is the job? In December 2023, the unemployment rate increased from 5.27 percent to 8.11 percent in 2019. The election promise was to create more jobs by expanding pharmaceutical companies. Today it is clear that the employment generation is not a target; they were given extra benefits by such companies to collect money in Electoral Bonds. The promise of doubling the average monthly income of farmers by 2022 has not been fulfilled. In turn, a good portion of the farmers have been turned into day labourers. While talking about fixing the minimum support price (MSP) for the crop as recommended by the Swaminathan Committee, in reality, the BJP government has decided on the MSP by calculating the cost of cultivation in its formula. In this only rice and wheat farmers got 296 thousand crores less. The government has given a monthly grant of 6000 rupees to the farmers out of the saved money. The farmers received this grant through PM Krishan Samman Nidhi. So campaigning for PM Krishan is also going on. The issue of pensions of small and marginal farmers is also in dispute. The government introduced the Agriculture Act to hand over agriculture to corporate hands in the name of reforms, despite not keeping the manifesto promise of farmer welfare. However, the government was forced to withdraw it under the pressure of the farmers’ movement.

The election manifesto promised to make the country’s economy export-dependent by increasing employment, and foreign investment through the Make in India project, but sadly, in terms of ‘ease of doing business’, India ranked 63rd in 2019. In 2023, there was no major change. The dream of making India a US$ 5 trillion economy by 2025 remains elusive. BJP is campaigning to provide free food grains to poor people. Distribution of free food grains without employment generation cannot be a permanent solution. The establishment of the Ram temple is being touted by the BJP as a fulfilment of its manifesto promise. It should not be forgotten that the temple or mosque never gives food to the stomachs of the poor, works in the hands of the unemployed and does not provide accommodation. The BJP government has failed to provide the necessities of life to our people. Modi’s ‘Acche din’ is average and like other days. 

The question is, the acceptance of the election promises given by the Congress or how much? Congress election promises in 2004 and 2009 should not be remembered by the common people. A review of political experts says that the UPA government led by the Congress for 10 years – from 2004 to 2014 – was very manifesto-oriented, especially on economic issues. A major achievement of the Congress manifesto was the successful implementation of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act to ensure employment in rural areas. According to this scheme, one adult member of every rural household will get at least 100 days of work in a financial year. In 2015, an NCAER study found that MGNREGA lifted 14 million people out of poverty between 2004-05 and 2012-13. This scheme started in 2006 has employed more than 4.98 crore rural families till 2012-13. In this, 75 percent of the rural population and 50 percent of the urban population received subsidized food grains under the ‘Targeted Public Distribution System’. A minimum of Rs 6000 was provided for food and maternity facilities for pregnant and new mothers. The minimum support price of wheat and paddy was doubled from 2004 under farmer welfare. Till 2012-13 more than 6.5 million farmers got bank loans. India’s per capita income has almost tripled since the UPA government came to power. Despite two global recessions, the country’s average GDP growth during the UPA regime was 7.7 percent. The poverty rate declined by an average of two percent annually. The Right to Education Act was introduced to bring free compulsory education to children aged 6 to 14 years. As a result, the dropout rate in school education was reduced and education was widely spread. Consistent investment in public health has greatly reduced infant and maternal mortality. Besides, the concept of an Aadhaar card for unique identification was the idea of the Congress-led UPA government. All these were in the Congress manifesto.

The National Congress of 2024 is much better than the 2009 Congress, and much closer to the common people. Rahul Gandhi witnessed the suffering of the poor people during his visit to India. This has been revealed in the election manifesto of Congress this year. Bringing back the style of Indira Gandhi, the Congress has said in its manifesto that if the Congress and ‘India’ coalition wins the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, they will eradicate poverty from the country. Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said in the election campaign on behalf of the Congress – their government will give 8 thousand 500 rupees per month to a woman of every poor family in India, 1 lakh rupees per year. This system will continue until the family rises above the poverty line. This is how he promised to remove poverty from India.

Whose promises do people trust now- Either in BJP’s ‘Modi’s Guarantee’ or in Congress’ ‘Nyay Patra’? One can only find out the answer to this question on or after 4th June.

Debasis Mithiya

is a freelance researcher in economics, a columnist and political analyst. He has done his PhD in Agricultural economics from University of Calcutta. His articles on economic, social, political and environmental issues have been published in various newspapers and magazines.

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button