Indian media: AAP's manifesto

Arvind Kejriwal says his party wants to put an end to corruption Image copyright AP
Image caption Arvind Kejriwal says his party wants to put an end to corruption

Media in India are analysing the Aam Aadmi Party's (AAP) election manifesto that promises an array of initiatives, including fighting corruption and decriminalising gay sex.

The AAP (or Common Man's Party) released its manifesto on Thursday and urged people to vote for change and keep both the ruling Congress and the main opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) out of power.

"In what appears to be a bid to reassure the middle classes and businesses, the manifesto promises simplification of trade procedures, steps to contain inflation and zero tolerance for cross-border terrorism while addressing its core interests," The Times of India reports.

The paper adds that the manifesto is the "fledgling party's pitch for the national stage" and "a careful balancing act".

The Economic Times feels that the AAP's 26-page manifesto is "in tune with its anti-graft plank".

"Decentralisation of power, a citizen's charter to ensure time-bound delivery of services and providing good governance will be some other priority areas for the party," The New Indian Express quotes AAP leader Arvind Kejriwal as saying.

Mr Kejriwal's party made a stunning debut in the Delhi state election in December, but he quit as the chief minister in February after his anti-corruption bill was blocked in the assembly.

Staying with the election news, papers and websites are highlighting the delay by the BJP in releasing its manifesto.

"Dealing with infighting on several issues, the BJP seems to be in yet another crisis… Sources say the BJP manifesto release has been delayed due to several last-minute changes being asked by team Narendra Modi," the CNN-IBN website reports.

Mr Modi is the BJP's prime ministerial candidate for the general elections.

Similarly, The Indian Express reports that the "BJP was the first to announce its PM candidate and had meticulously planned the run-up to the Lok Sabha (lower house of parliament) polls, but the party - grappling with differences among top party leaders - would come out with its manifesto on 7 April, the day when elections begin".

The delay also evoked a sharp reaction from the Congress, which released its manifesto on 26 March, the Hindustan Times reports.

"A party (BJP) and leader (Mr Modi) which claim great administrative and managerial competence is unable to release its manifesto in time," the report quotes a Tweet from the Congress spokesperson, Priyanka Chaturvedi.

The BJP however, has denied any rift among the top leaders.

Voting advice in temples

Meanwhile, farmers in the Bhojpur district of the eastern state of Bihar have decided to vote for any candidate who agrees to solve their "peculiar problem" of getting rid of nilgais (Asian antelopes), the Deccan Herald reports.

Farmers say the animals often destroy their crops, it adds.

And finally, people visiting temples in the northern city of Chandigarh are not only receiving blessings, but also advice on voting rights, The Business Standard reports.

"In some temples, pamphlets are being distributed asking people to treat their vote not as a right but as a duty," the report adds.

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