India's opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), widely tipped to form the next government, said in its election manifesto on Monday it would encourage foreign direct investment but appeared to close the door to global retailers eyeing the country.
The party also set out its Hindu nationalist leanings, vowing to explore building a Hindu temple at the site of a mosque in northern India that was torn down by zealots over two decades ago, putting a deeply controversial issue back in play.
It made a commitment to withdrawing a special autonomous status accorded to Jammu and Kashmir state, India's only Muslim-majority region, which many in the BJP believe prolongs ambiguity over the status of a territory claimed by Pakistan.
The party said it would revise India's nuclear doctrine "to make it relevant to challenges of current times", but gave no details. A central tenet of India's current doctrine is "no first use" of nuclear weapons.
The party said it would seek friendly relations with neighbours but take a "strong stand and steps" when required.
Opinion polls have said the BJP will emerge as the single biggest party in the five-week election that began on Monday, but may fall short of the majority required to rule. A BJP-led coalition government is the most likely outcome, they have said.
In its 42-page program, the BJP accused the left-leaning Congress party, which has led the country's ruling coalition for the past decade, of "weak and spineless" leadership.