India's BJP releases manifesto ahead of upcoming elections

India's ruling party releases manifesto days before election

BJP goofs up on women's safety in manifesto

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.

Modi has said he will retain power with a bigger mandate than before, while Congress says its plan for annual handouts of 72,000 rupees ($1,034) to the poorest families will help fuel its comeback.

The Congress had dubbed the BJP's election manifesto a "Jhansa Patra" (deception document) and a "bubble of lies" on Monday and said it would have been better had the saffron party issued a "maafinama" instead.

Nuclear-armed neighbours Pakistan and India both claim Kashmir in full but rule in part.

The main opposition Congress party released its manifesto last week, blasting the Hindu nationalist BJP for working "to divide the nation". "Had pre-Independence Congress leaders acted wisely, "this Pakistan" would not have been created".

Slamming Congress-NCP alliance for backing separate PM for Jammu and Kashmir, Modi said, "The country has no expectations with Congress party but Sharad sahab you!" "The thoughts in their hearts is now in the open".

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This led the head of the All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen political party to tell Reuters Muslims had "never felt so marginalised in the independent history of India".

Since Modi and the BJP took power in 2014, there has been rising violence against India's minority Muslim population.

The prime minister mentioned the defence forces in his election speech despite the Election Commission directing parties to keep them out of election campaigns.

The party said it committed to building a temple for Hindu god Ram in Ayodhya in place of medieval era Babri mosque, which was demolished by Hindu mobs in 1992. The worst victims during the last five years of Modi government have been traders, said Goyal adding that: "While the traders were still reeling under the adverse impacts of demonetization, Modi government dealt the next blow with the implementation of GST without any proper preparation".

Maharashtra will to the polls in four of the seven phases of the Lok Sabha 2019 elections that begin on April 11 and ends on May 19.

After Maharashtra's rally PM Modi will land in Karnataka's Chitradurga. Later in the evening, Modi will reach Tamil Nadu where he will take the BJP rally forward to Coimbatore.

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