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'Bharat First Foreign Policy': BJP Spells Out its Priorities for Modi's Third Term in Manifesto

© AP PhotoIndian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, rides in an open vehicle holding party symbol lotus as he campaigns for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming national elections, in Chennai, India, Tuesday, April 9, 2024.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, center, rides in an open vehicle holding party symbol lotus as he campaigns for Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for the upcoming national elections, in Chennai, India, Tuesday, April 9, 2024. - Sputnik India, 1920, 14.04.2024
The BJP's 76-page election manifesto, entitled 'Sankalp Patra' (a document of pledges) highlights PM Narendra Modi's achievements in the last 10 years and lays out its domestic and foreign policy priorities till 2029, if the party stays in power.
India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party has laid out its foreign policy platform days before this month's parliamentary elections.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and senior members of his cabinet, including Home Minister Amit Shah and Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, released the BJP election manifesto on Sunday for the Lok Sabha elections set to kick off from 19 April.

In the manifesto, Modi has vowed to make India the world's third biggest economy by 2029, as well as launch a "final and decisive assault" against poverty.

'Bharat First Foreign Policy'

Highlighting a 'Bharat First Foreign Policy', the manifesto boasts that under Modi, India has demonstrated "independence of thought and action" to advance its own national interest.
"Our human-centric worldview has helped to be a consensus builder, first responder and a voice of the Global South," the manifesto stated.
"We will strengthen our position and conduct our policies to further our national interests with the spirit of 'Vishwa Bandhu'," it continued.
The BJP has also vowed to continue to work towards securing a permanent United Nations Security Council (UNSC) membership for India.

The manifesto stated that a future Modi government would strengthen the 'Neighbourhood First Policy' by continuing to be a "trusted and responsible partner in the subcontinent" and promoting regional cooperation and prosperity.

It also said that a BJP government would continue to enhance cooperation with countries in Indo-Pacific under the Security and Growth for All (SAGAR) policy.

The BJP further said that would continue to work towards establishing the India Middle-East Europe Economic Corridor (IMEEC) to facilitate the movement of goods and services from India.
The manifesto pledged to develop India's "strategic partnerships" with countries around the globe to promote "mineral security".
The BJP said that it would further expand India's diplomatic presence to "pursue global interests" secured by an "unprecedented rise in the global order".

Bringing Back Stolen Artefacts from Abroad

The BJP has vowed to redouble efforts to bring back India's ancient artefacts and idols from abroad, most of which were stolen and taken away "illegally" during the colonial period.

In terms of promoting Indian heritage globally, the BJP said that it would facilitate the establishment of Yoga and Ayurveda institutes across the world.
The party said that it would continue to preserve and promote the legacy of Hindu deity Lord Ram, particularly in South and Southeast Asian regions.
"We will launch a global outreach program for documenting and promoting the tangible and intangible legacy of Lord Ram in all countries," it said.

Border Security

The manifesto said that a future Modi government would continue to pursue "zero-tolerance policy" towards terrorism.

It said that it would continue to develop "robust infrastructure" along the Indo-China, Indo-Pakistan and Indo-Myanmar borders, including through the construction of roads, railway, telecom towers, optical fibre cables and electricity networks.

The manifesto also pledged to establish "military theatre commands" for greater efficiency, noting that the Modi government had already created the position of Chief of Defense staff (CDS).
Russia's President Vladimir Putin, left, and India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi chat during the BRICS Summit at the Itamaraty Palace, in Brasilia, Brazil, Wednesday, July 16, 2014 - Sputnik India, 1920, 11.04.2024
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