Global warming and its likely disastrous impact of the earth's climate has raised concerns among the Indian political parties, with two major players the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) outlining their solutions to the voters.
The political manifestoes for the 2009 Lok Sabha elections of both the parties, which were released recently, have included global warming as a key issue. While the Congress has focused on implementing the national action plan for climate change that was laid down last year, the BJP has given out an elaborate course of action for mitigating the impact of climate change.The Congress has promised to "implement the action plan on climate change in letter and spirit."
The BJP, which has fielded L K Advani as its prime ministerial candidate, has promised to revamp agriculture and food policy to help encourage green practices among the farmers. Its manifesto says the BJP's government would encourage rain-fed and traditional crops over the heavily-irrigated varieties, by offering incentives and better support prices and also creating markets for these crops.
The BJP believes excess crops should be sold locally through the Public Distribution System (PDS), instead of the current system of these being procured by a central agency for redistribution later.
"The decentralised PDS will be more climate-smart and it will eliminate the cost of transportation and storage," the party manifesto said. In another major announcement, the opposition party said it wanted to end subsidy on chemical fertilisers and, instead, create a system of rewarding farmers for conservation and green practices and cultivation of local crops.
While the BJP has promised to make "right to water a fundamental right", the Congress, in its counter move, says "water security is of paramount concern to the Indian National Congress and steps will be taken to enhance it measurably for local communities."
While the Congress is flaunting its National Ganga Action Plan, which is currently taking care of cleansing the Ganga, the BJP manifesto has pledged to set up a permanent task force for saving the tiger, lion, elephant and the bird sanctuaries, to save wild species from extinction, and launch a national mission for undertaking the work on cleansing all rivers across the country.
Murli Manohar Joshi, the convener of the BJP's manifesto committee, said no country could remain immune from the impact of global warming, and hence the BJP believed in giving a comprehensive idea to voters about its mind on "green earth".