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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 April, 2004, 14:31 GMT 15:31 UK
NDA releases manifesto for India
By Abhishek Prabhat
BBC correspondent in Delhi

Vehicle adorned with BJP portraits
Transport figures prominently in the manifesto
India's governing coalition, the National Democratic Alliance (NDA), has pledged development, good governance and peace if it is voted back to power.

Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee launched the coalition's manifesto ahead of general elections this month.

The manifesto promises to provide drinking water and electricity to every village in the country, and generate 10 million jobs a year.

It also calls for an early solution to the Ayodhya dispute in Uttar Pradesh.

'Major reforms'

Speaking in Delhi, Mr Vajpayee, said his government had key achievements to salute in its first full term in office.

"But a lot more needs to be done to harness the immense potential of India," he said urging voters to give him another term in office.

The coalition promises major reforms in agriculture - a sector which employs two-thirds of India's one billion people.

It says the prime minister will launch a second green revolution to increase farm productivity within days of coming to power.

BJP supporters in Madhya Pradesh
The BJP hopes to celebrate a general election win later this month

"The Second Green Revolution will revitalise Indian agriculture," the document says.

It says farmers will be ensured adequate supplies of power and all ongoing irrigation projects will be completed within five years.

The coalition says it will adopt the "Open Skies" policy - which seeks to remove restrictions on foreign airlines - within 30 days of the new government.

"The Open Skies policy will liberate India's civil aviation sector," the document says.

Telephone density

It promises new international airports for four Indian cities including the capital Delhi and at least one super-speed train project.

The manifesto says the first train will roll into the Kashmir Valley before August 15th 2007, carrying the prime minister as its first passenger.

It says the coalition will increase the number of telephones in the country from 70 million to 300 million in five years.

The Second Green Revolution will revitalise Indian agriculture
NDA manifesto

Also promised is an action plan to make India a global manufacturing hub and the establishment of a separate ministry for international trade.

The document points out that India has enjoyed prolonged economic growth, with a Gross Domestic Product rate between eight to 10% a year.

Several controversial issues find a mention in the document, but only towards the end.

The dispute over a religious site in Ayodhya in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh is mentioned only on the second last page of the 36-page document.

Atal Behari Vajpayee
Mr Vajpayee could be the first person to use the Kashmir train service

The issue has been a major campaign point for the main constituent in the coalition - the Bharatiya Janata Party - for over a decade.

Hindu militants are campaigning for a temple to be built at the site, where they destroyed an ancient mosque in 1992.

The manifesto says the coalition will intensify efforts to resolve the dispute through a dialogue.

It also pledges to stop people of foreign origin from occupying high office.

Analysts say this policy is aimed against the Congress Party leader Sonia Gandhi, who has been criticised by the coalition for her Italian origins.

India votes 2004: Full in-depth coverage here


Indian Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee Atal Behari Vajpayee
India's charismatic coalition builder


File photo of Sonia Gandhi, September 2008 Sonia Gandhi
The enigmatic Italian-born Congress leader




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