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Previous Manifestos

Chapter 9

Accessibility

Our Nation's Security

Suraksha for Country and Citizens

THE nation faces grave challenges to its integrity and security as never before. The internal and external security environment has deteriorated sharply in the last decade. The previous Governments have been found wanting in their efforts and determination to face these threats and are responsible for this. Since 1991, the country's defence budget has been declining in real terms. They have declined from 3.4 per cent of the GDP in 1989-90 to a mere 2.2 per cent this year. Successive weak and irresolute Governments have imperiled national security. There is a mistaken view that there is a conflict between national security and economic development. But these two go hand-in-hand. There cannot be economic development without commensurate security preparation and the reverse, too, is equally true.

The dimensions and directions of present and future threats need to be constantly analyzed and evaluated. In the glaring absence of governmental interest and inter-ministerial coordination, the mechanisms for this have fallen into disuse. The armed forces have been ignored in defence policy planning. Misguided bureaucratic interference has demoralized the higher echelons of the armed forces and has also had a telling effect on defence preparedness. The BJP Government will take immediate steps to reverse such negative trends and establish coordination between the armed forces and the Government at all levels.

The BJP notes with concern the inadequate pace of defence research and development despite abundant talent available in DRDO. Inadequate budgetary support is a major reason for this. The inordinate delays in the LCA, nuclear submarine and guided missiles, and other programmes are matters of particular concern. Our scientists and technologists are second to none and it is lack of political will and clarity on strategic issues that is the main cause of the delay. Defence production performance, too, has not been up to the mark. The performance of defence production units need to be monitored more closely and brought up to acceptable commercial and international standards.

A National Commission will study and analyze the trends in defence technologies and appropriately advise the Government on the development and induction of advanced weapons.

External Security

THE frenetic pace of military expansion and modernization by some of our neighbors and the growing pressure and power of foreign navies in the Indian Ocean compel us to take the state of our defence preparedness very seriously. We also cannot remain oblivious to the new developments in weapon technology and the induction of very advanced conventional weapons systems in the region by some power. These must be neutralized. We are, therefore, committed to:

1. Establish a National Security Council to constantly analyze security, political and economic threats and render continuous advice to the Government. This Council will undertake India's first-ever Strategic Defence Review to study and analyze the security environment and make appropriate recommendations to cover all aspects of defence requirements and organization;

2. Re-evaluate the country's nuclear policy and exercise the option to induct nuclear weapons;

3. Expedite the development of the Agni series of ballistic missiles with a view to increasing their range and accuracy;

4. Increase the radius of power projection by inducting appropriate force multipliers such as battlefield surveillance systems and air-to-air refueling;

5. Enhance the traditional and technical capabilities of our external intelligence agencies and also to increase the interaction and co-ordination with user departments;

6. Place para-military forces in sensitive border areas under the full control of the Indian Army.

Jai Jawan

THE country is justly proud of its soldiers who constantly brave the elements, endure extreme hardships and risk their lives to defend the nation. Service in the armed forces must be made attractive for young people and must be considered a honour. Consequently:

1. The BJP Government will take measures to make employment in the armed forces more rewarding and secure for soldiers greater respect of society;

2. The BJP Government will suitably improve living and service conditions and expeditiously rectify existing anomalies;

3. The BJP Government will recognize the services and sacrifices of retired personnel and attend to their problems immediately;

4. The BJP Government will increase the benefits and compensation to widows and dependents of service personnel who die in action;

5. The BJP Government will be committed to increasing avenues of lateral induction into other security forces and other Government departments/undertakings/agencies for retired officers and jawans;

6. The BJP Government will appoint a committee to examine the question of retirement age at different levels in the armed forces and make appropriate recommendation to this effect.

Internal Security

THE BJP will give utmost attention to security-sensitive areas in the North, the North-East and the South. The BJP Government will review the role and performance of the police organizations and take urgent steps to revitalize them. We recognize the need for the permanent cadre officers in CPO's to have greater avenues for advancement.

The BJP Government will ensure far greater co-ordination between the armed forces, police organizations and the administration in areas beset with insurgency and terrorism. Armed insurgents and foreign mercenaries will be eliminated. Our security forces will be given a free hand to deal with armed insurgency and terrorism.

The BJP Government will revamp the intelligence agencies to enhance their effectiveness and ensure greater coordination with security and police forces.

Central and State Police Forces will be reorganized and modernized while simultaneously improving working and living conditions of their personnel.

Jammu and Kashmir

WE welcome the restoration of an elected Government in the State. The BJP Government will take suitable measures for establishing a durable peace in the State to promote progress and prosperity. Repeated massacres of Hindus in Kashmir show that unless the State Government takes the business of curbing militancy seriously, a durable peace will be hard to achieve. The BJP Government will strive for a more structured coordination between the Central forces and the State Government.

North-East

THE conditions in the North-Eastern States continue to be disturbed. The situation in Assam in particular has worsened in the last few years. It is the Congress party's manipulative and corrupt politics that have contributed most to this. Poor governance, corrupt and callous administration, the flow of narcotics and foreign interference have together contributed to the rapid deterioration of the law and order situation. The unchecked and unabated illegal infiltration from Bangladesh has been the single largest causative factor in destabilizing the region. The spread of heroin addiction and HIV infection in some States is cause for utmost concern.

The BJP will give socio-economic problems of this region high priority as lack of development has helped anti-national and separatist elements in their attempt to foment disaffection. We believe development is one of the effective antidotes against such attempts.

The distance between this region and Delhi has further heightened their sense of alienation. Nothing has been done in the past 50 years to bridge this physical and emotional distance. The BJP commits itself to forging new and strong economic and emotional bonds between the North-East and the rest of India.

Therefore, we propose to do the following in the North-East:

1. Draw up and implement a comprehensive development programme, focusing on basic communications infrastructure like roads, railways, bridges and air link;

2. Harness the immense hydro-electric potential in the region both for rapid development of these States as well as for augmenting the power supply of eastern States, thus enabling the North-East region to mobilise additional resources;

3. Put into place effective checks and balances to prevent seepage of development funds which should reach the people of the region and not be pocketed by a corrupt few.

4. Strengthen the North-Eastern Council to effectively oversee and speed up the social and economic development of the region

5. The security apparatus will be strengthened to check infiltration, stem the flow of narcotics and weapons and eliminate insurgents;

6. Provide all citizens in the region with identity cards;

7. It will strengthen the North-Eastern Council to effectively oversee and speed up the social and economic development of the region;

8. Repeal the Illegal Migrants Determination by Tribunal Act (IMDTA) and strengthen existing immigration laws and rules;

9. Enact new laws and rules to make illegal infiltration difficult and deny the extension of benefits of citizenship to such entrants.

Illegal Infiltration

THE Congress and United Front Governments for their own narrow and selfish reasons have been deliberately negligent of this problem. The total number of illegal infiltrators from Bangladesh is officially ascertained at over 1.7 crore. The adverse impact of this on our economy and social and political order poses problems of grave magnitude. This cannot be allowed to continue. Our Government will:

1. Take more stringent measures to intercept illegal infiltrators and turn them back. Fencing of the border wherever possible will be urgently taken up. Border patrolling will be intensified;

2. Initiate steps to detect illegal infiltrators and delete their names from electoral rolls;

3. Maintain a national register of citizens.

The BJP has the vision and the political will to transform India into a prosperous and powerful nation in the initial decades of the next century. A strong and secure India is an essential requisite for this.

We will establish a National Security Council to constantly analyze security, political and economic threats and render continuous advice to the Government.