New Delhi: Senior BJP leader Arun Jaitley on Sunday released the party’s election campaign slogan and posters for the Lok Sabha elections. The party has revised its slogan for the Lok Sabha election of 2014, which was “Ab ki baar Modi sarkar (Modi government this time)” to “Phir ek baar Modi sarkar (Modi government once again)”.
The Union finance minister said that in these elections, the choices before the people the cohesive and tested government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the chaotic and adulterated opposition.
Making a sharp attack on the opposition, Jaitley said that people have to decide whether to choose a government with one captain or a team of 11 players with 40 captains.
Many opposition leaders have spoken about their wish for a hung Parliament and it is now for people to decide, Jaitley said. “The country has decided as to whether a weak centre (government) will be in the country’s interest or a decisive prime minister heading a majority government,” he said.
Jaitley told reporters that the tagline of his party’s campaign “Phir ek baar Modi sarkar” will focus on five years of Modi’s work, which includes the ability to make big decisions on the national security front, honesty and other issues.
Union minister Jaitley said that these promises were not for the future because the government has fulfilled these in its five-year tenure.
The BJP will issue its manifesto on Monday.
The BJP has brought the national security plank at its campaign’s centre stage following the Balakot air strikes targeting a terrorist camp in Pakistan. It was in retaliation to the Pulwama terror attack that killed 40 CRPF personnel on 14 February.
The opposition has accused it of politicising the armed forces’ operations against terrorists but the saffron party has used them as evidence of its government’s “decisiveness” and “zero tolerance” for terrorism.
The BJP also Sunday launched a television campaign for the polls focussing on development and welfare steps taken by the Modi-government, including schemes likes ‘Kisan Samman’ under which farmers will get Rs 6,000 in three instalments and initiatives taken under the Swachch Bharat Mission.
The campaign material emphasised also the “clean image” of the government, India’s “growing stature” at the global level, the Ayushmaan Bharat health insurance scheme and actions like “crackdown” on corruption and black money.
The Union minister said these promises are not merely for the future as the government has fulfilled them in its five-year term.
Jaitley was joined by Union minister Piyush Goyal and BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav, among others, at the press conference, where they also released slogans and video materials for the party’s campaign.
The poor, the middle class and the neo-middle class will be at the centre of the BJP’s electioneering, Jaitley said and took a swipe at the Congress for “not even saying a word” on the emerging middle class when it launched its manifesto.
In fact, some of the advisers to the Congress have spoken of levying more taxes on this class, Jaitley said, adding the Modi government has consistently reduced their taxes, something that has never happened earlier.
The Indian middle class will impact the global economy in the coming decades in the same way the Chinese economy influenced it earlier, the finance minister said.
Pitching for a majority for the BJP in the Lok Sabha polls as it got in 2014, he said it enabled the party to take big decisions on a host of measures, including national security, corruption and black money.
The Modi government succeeded in keeping inflation low while also expanding the tax base, reducing taxes on the middle class and spending money on welfare measures and exercises like One Rank One Pension, Jaitley said.