Congress election manifesto promises minimum income to poor

April 2, 2019
NEW DELHI: The Congress on Tuesday released its national manifesto for the forthcoming parliamentary elections here promising a new Minimum Income Guarantee scheme for the poor people and introduction of a separate budget for farmers like the previous railway budget.

The manifesto was released by party president Rahul Gandhi, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the presence other party leaders.

The 55-page document, titled Congress Will Deliver, has sections like Kaam (Employment and Growth), Daam (An Economy That Works), Shaan (Pride in Our Hard and Soft Power), Sushashan (Good Governance Through Independent and Accountable Institutions), Swabhiman (Self Esteem for the Deprived) and Samman (A Life of Dignity for All).

The main thrust is on the income redistribution scheme named as Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) or Mininum Income Guarantee Scheme which promises of Rs 72,000 to the 20 % of India's poorest people every year.

Next in priority is a separate budget like the earlier railway budget where every scheme relating to the farmer will be spelt out.

The Congress does not agree with the NDA's universal healthcare and it will have a new scheme where the public does not have to pay.

Due to the demonetisation crores of jobs have been lost, the Congress alleges. Under the NREGA, which was an earlier UPA scheme, the number of days of employment guaranteed will be raised from 100 to 150.

Other sectors of focus are rural development, simplifying tax system, terrorism which targeted leaders like Indira Gandhi and and Rajiv Gandhi, Indo-Pakistan relations, Kashmir issue on which interlocutor pattern of discourse with various groups will be introduced, climate change and air pollution as public health emergency, a new national free health care system.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said the manifesto consists of agendas aiming to break up the nation. "Some of the ideas are positively dangerous," he said. Jaitley said that the Congress party is under the influence of jihadists and Naxalites. Those dangerous ideas have been framed by Congress president Rahul Gandhi's friends 'the tukde tukde gang'.

BJP president Amit Shah said the manifesto is a "pack of lies" and an insult to the soldiers. The promise to repeal Section 124A (sedition law) and review Armed Forces Special Powerrs Act will only lower the morale of the armed forces, he said.

(Full text of the Congress manifesto)

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