Congress and BJP’s election manifestos make significant promises about defense

A formal national security strategy was included in the Congress manifesto on security. The party manifesto states, “Ad hoc and personalised policymaking is being done so far,” and it also states that the Congress will release a thorough National Security Strategy.

The Tribune has previously covered the BJP manifesto’s plans to increase India’s military presence and establish theater commanders for the armed services. “Chinese intrusions in Ladakh” were brought up by the Congress, which said they constituted a threat to India’s national security.

The manifesto accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of significantly “eroding our negotiating position” by handing China a clean sheet of paper. The memo states that Chinese soldiers are still occupying Indian land and preventing Indian forces from accessing 26 of the 65 patrol stations, which together cover an area of 2,000 square kilometers in eastern Ladakh, “despite 21 rounds of military-level talks.”

“Expanding Bharat’s defence footprint across strategic locations and partnering with friendly countries” is what the BJP paper pledges to achieve. The party promised to maintain strong border infrastructure. The party’s platform promised to “accelerate the development of robust infrastructure along the borders with Pakistan, India, and Myanmar.”

The BJP claimed to have fixed the “serious mistake” made by the previous administrations and to have begun building telecom towers, highways, railroads, optical fiber lines, and electrical networks in border regions.

The Congress manifesto delves further into policy-making, stating that a select committee of Parliament would be responsible for overseeing the National Security Council and the post of the National Security Adviser. The Defense Minister’s “operational directive determines the Armed Forces’ war planning,” the Congress continued. “The final instruction was issued in 2009 by the UPA administration. According to its party platform, the Congress would provide a new operational command to address the two fronts of the current conflict—Pakistan and China.

“To ensure transparency and military consensus, the Congress will institutionalize the process of appointing the Chief of Defense Staff,” the statement reads.

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