India election 2019: Has India’s BJP government kept its promises?

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Women BJP supporters at rally in HyderabadImage copyright AFP

Following another convincing win at the polls, India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi says he wants to continue his mission to transform the country.

So what has his government already achieved since it came into office in 2014?

BBC Reality Check has taken a look at how the BJP government has matched up to its promises over the past five years.

A manufacturing superpower?

The Modi government has looked to the manufacturing sector to drive economic growth and create jobs.

Under the Make in India project, it pledged to raise the share of manufacturing to 25% of GDP – the overall measure of goods and services – by 2025.

As the data shows, the contribution of the manufacturing sector has remained just above 15% in recent years, and experts doubt the target will be met.

However, the overall rate of economic growth (GDP) has remained strong, at around 6-7% per year, and the government has also highlighted more recent data showing signs of improving industrial growth.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Priyanka Gandhi highlighted the economy and women’s safety during the election campaign

A promise to create jobs

Mr Modi came to power in 2014 with a promise to create jobs for millions of Indians.

The government has delayed the publication of the latest official data on jobs, but a draft version of the report was leaked earlier this year indicating a significant rise in unemployment during the current government’s tenure.

This has provoked a heated debate over the true situation in the jobs market.

You can see our video on the issue here:

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Media captionA controversy rages over unemployment figures in India

Keeping India secure

At the end of February this year, security became a major issue after an attack in Indian-controlled Kashmir, in which 40 soldiers were killed.

The government presented itself as the true guardian of the country’s security, after launching retaliatory strikes in Pakistan.

But the opposition Congress hit back, saying the security situation in Kashmir was now worse under the BJP government than under its own rule before 2014.

Number of terror incidents in Indian-administered Kashmir

The data shows that until the end of last year, the level of militant activity under the two governments had been broadly similar.

But it is also the case that infiltration attempts into Indian-administered Kashmir have been rising since 2016.

Are women now safer in India?

The BJP government says it brought in tough laws to combat violence against women.

The data shows a rise in the reporting of rape to the authorities, particularly after the notorious Delhi gang rape of 2012.

But the conviction rate for cases that go to the courts has not really improved in the last few years.

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Media captionBBC Reality Check: Has India become a safer place for women?

What’s the situation in India’s villages?

The BJP government under Mr Modi made a series of pledges on improving the lives of Indians in rural areas.

Three years ago, a commitment was made to double farmers’ incomes by 2022.

But there are few signs that the government is on track to meet its target.

We also looked into promises by the government to alleviate the burden of farmers’ debts, which have led to severe hardship within their communities.

The evidence that Reality Check found showed that schemes implemented both by the BJP and previous Congress administrations have not been effectively implemented, and can create more problems in their wake.

Rising rural debt in India

% of households in debt

Have plans to clean up India worked?

The BJP government also came up with a series of pledges under its Clean India campaign.

These included the provision of toilet facilities to address a widespread lack of clean sanitation, and cleaner cooking fuel in the form of subsidised gas cylinders to reduce the amount of kerosene and wood being used in household kitchens.

Image copyright Getty Images

Many households have switched to the cleaner fuel, so this was a considerable success.

But the longer-term success of the project has been tempered by the tapering off of subsidies on gas cylinder refills, and many households have reverted to using dirtier fuels.

As for toilets, the prime minister has said that 90% of Indians now have access to a toilet – up from 40% before he came into office in 2014.

While its true that many more household toilets have been constructed across the country, there is also evidence that not all are working properly, and that – for a variety of reasons – they do not always get used.

Cleaning up the Ganges

One of the biggest Clean India projects was focused on the River Ganges, which is holy to millions of Hindus.

The Ganges has been blighted for years by pollution and overuse.

Reality Check discovered that although a lot more money has been made available, only a small proportion has so far been spent.

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Media captionHas Prime Minister Narendra Modi lived up to his promise of cleaning up the Ganges?

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By: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-47771192

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