Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on 7 April released its "Election Manifesto 2014" in New Delhi, emphasising that it will strive for the revival of growth and job creation in the country. However, the party said that it will not allow Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail trade.

The 52-page election manifesto was released at a function at the BJP headquarters. BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi, party president Rajnath Singh, veteran leaders LK Advani, Sushma Swaraj and others were present at the event. The manifesto also said that BJP will ensure equal opportunities for all minorities.

Another key point in the manifesto was the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The party said it will explore the possibilities of the temple construction within the legal framework.

BJP, which has been tipped to lead the next coalition government at the Centre, has given thrust to tax reforms, promotion of foreign investment and containing inflation. India's industries association, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) welcomed the manifesto, except the party's stand on FDI in multi-brand retail trade.

A 17-member committee of BJP, headed by senior leader Murli Manohar Joshi, worked and compiled the manifesto. Joshi said that they received one lakh suggestions for the manifesto from farmers, teachers, industrialists and others. 

The manifesto says that schemes will be drawn for skill enhancement of artisans like smiths, weavers, carpenters, hair-dressers, shoe-smiths and potters. It also said that cow and its progeny will be protected by creating the required legal frame work.

The manifesto also has given prominence to the cultural heritage of the country. Facts like thorium deposits will be taken into account, while taking any decision on the "Sethu-Samudram Channel" project, it said. BJP also stated that it will launch a massive "Clean Rivers Programme" with river Ganga on the priority basis. And the programme will be driven by people's participation, the party said.

(Edited by Vishnuprasad S Pillai)