India's ruling party releases manifesto days before election

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At the centre of the cover, one can see Narendra Modi, flanked by key party leaders like Sushma Swaraj, Raman Singh, Manohar Parrikar, Arun Jaitley, Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Vasundhara Raje.

The National Democratic Alliance, which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party and is made up of other regional parties, is taking on the main opposition Congress Party.

It pledged to spend 100 trillion rupees ($1.44 trillion) on infrastructure in the next five years, to help create jobs for the millions entering the workforce each year.

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Modi ordered air strikes in February on the suspected camp of a militant group based in Pakistan that had claimed responsibility for a deadly auto bombing in disputed Kashmir, dramatically ratcheting up tension with the neighbouring nation.

Balancing populist welfare initiatives with muscular nationalism, the ruling BJP on Monday released its manifesto for the high-stakes Lok Sabha polls promising pension to 15 crore marginal farmers and small shopkeepers to counter the Congress' minimum income scheme, while vowing to extend Assam's National Register of Citizens (NRC) to the entire nation to push out infiltrators and show zero tolerance to terror.

The BJP has consistently advocated an end to Kashmir's special constitutional status, which prevents outsiders from buying property there, arguing that such laws have hindered its integration with the rest of India. Referring to Jammu and Kashmir Governor Satya Pal Malik's statement that there was no threat to Article 370 in the state, Abdullah said that the BJP should send him a copy of its manifesto.

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BJP supporters have demanded the removal, expressing anger at many Kashmiris' resistance to rule by India. Additionally, no other party leader's image make it to the manifesto. But over the last month, support for Modi's Hindu nationalist party has grown following a spike in tension with Pakistan, the polls say.

Around 900 million people are eligible to vote in the elections, which will begin on Thursday.

Anchoring BJP's political vision around "rashtravaad" (nationalism), "antyodaya" (integral humanism) and "sushaasan" (good governance), Modi said the party wants India to move forward in every sector and hence the Sankalp Patra focussed on a multi-dimensional approach towards growth in every sector.

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