After an extensive nationwide consultation, India’s oldest party, Congress has finally turned heads of the ruling party with the release of its manifesto. Congress President, Rahul Gandhi said the manifesto reflects the wishes of the people.
Gandhi said the manifesto will address issues like job creation, agrarian distress and strengthening the education and health sectors besides charting a roadmap to boost economic growth.
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“The party has promised 22 lakh government jobs by next March and 100 more days of assured jobs under MNREGA. It will also have a separate budge for farmers, on the lines of Railway Budget,” Gandhi said.
He also said “Farmers who default on loans would not be sent to jail as it will not be a criminal but civil offence.”
Gandhi stressed that the NYAY scheme which assures Rs 72, 000 per year for India’s poorest is also one of the five main themes of the manifesto. He reiterated this will help remonetize what Modi had demonetized. Moreover, Gandhi said India was going through an ‘economic emergency’ and shock therapy was needed.
Gandhi said “That will happen when we give directly to the poor and increase their buying power.”
In regards to Goods and Service Tax (GST) which he called the ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’, Gandhi said he will simplify it.
“The narrative is NYAY. It is if the PM can give Rs 30,000 crore to Anil Ambani, then Congress can give Rs 72,000 to the poorest. Modi has got a shock effect of this. He is hiding behind excuses”, said Gandhi.
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The Congress president said the reality is ‘joblessness’.
Former Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram who heads the Congress Manifesto Committee said the manifesto is designed to focus on creating wealth that will lead to welfare. Chidambaram said “It addresses the issues of farmers, dalits, women, MSME, education, healthcare, internal security, border security in NE states and J&K, foreign affairs etc.”
He said the idea is to set the narration for the 2019 elections on ‘real issues’ which are unemployment, farmer’s loans and women’s security amongst other issues.