Congress manifesto speaks Pakistan's stand on Kashmir: PM Modi in Maharashtra rally

Curtains down on first phase of campaigning

The BJP has made a new pledge to scrap a law that gives special privileges - such as preventing outsiders from buying property - to residents of Indian-occupied Kashmir.

"We believe that Article 35A is an obstacle in the development of the state", the party's manifesto said.

BJP supporters have sought the removal, expressing anger at many Kashmiris' resistance to rule by India, which, for three decades, has battled an armed insurgency in the region also claimed by Pakistan.

Attacking Opposition, PM Modi said, "Congress is responsible for creation of Pakistan".

Lashing out at Congress-JD (S) alliance in Karnataka, Modi said the two parties came together for the sake of the power.

"At least one point in BJP's manifesto reflects their true intentions", Congress wrote this evening on its official Twitter handle.

In the last four years, especially after the Maharashtra Assembly elections of October 2014 before which the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance split, the Sena and Thackeray have severely criticised the Modi government and made personal remarks against the Prime Minister.

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The BJP promised a capital investment of 100 trillion Indian rupees ($1.44 trillion) on infrastructure by 2024, to help create jobs for the millions of youth entering the workforce every year.

The Hindu nationalist party said it will pass a controversial citizenship bill that would grant Indian nationality to Hindus from neighbouring countries.

Modi's party also said it was committed to building a grand Hindu temple in place of a Muslim mosque demolished by Hindu mobs in the city of Ayodhya in 1992.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief of India's ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Amit Shah, display copies of their party's election manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi, India, April 8, 2019.

The general elections will be held in seven phases and will begin on Thursday.

Maharashtra chief minister Devendra Fadnavis of the BJP and Thackeray have held a few joint public meetings after the BJP and Shiv Sena renewed their alliance for the Lok Sabha elections and chose to contest 25 and 23 Lok Sabha seats respectively.

Voters will elect 543 of 545 MPs to India's lower house of parliament, the Lok Sabha.

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