Congress’ Lok Sabha Election Manifesto: Rahul Gandhi Outlines Five Main Themes Of Congress’ Poll Pitch
A tote bag featuring Indian National Congress (INC) Party President Rahul Gandhi and his mother, former party president Sonia Gandhi, hangs in a store selling election merchandise at the Sadar Bazaar market in New Delhi. (Photographer: Ruhani Kaur/Bloomberg)

Congress’ Lok Sabha Election Manifesto: Rahul Gandhi Outlines Five Main Themes Of Congress’ Poll Pitch

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Rahul Gandhi Highlights Five Big Ideas

Congress President Rahul Gandhi said that the party’s manifesto for the upcoming elections revolves around five key ideas.

  1. NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana, a minimum income plan): Under this scheme, India’s poorest will receive money directly in their bank account to ensure they have a minimum monthly income of Rs 12,000.
  2. Jobs: The Congress will fill 22 lakh job vacancies within the government in an effort to boost employment. Entrepreneurs won't need any permissions for the first three years of starting a business. Raise guaranteed days of employment under MGNREGA (Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarentee Act) up to 150 days. Angel tax will be withdrawn.
  3. Farmers: There will be a separate budget for farmers. If farmers default on loans, it will be considered a civil offense and not a criminal offence. Congress also promised to extend a farm loan waiver to all states.
  4. Education: Double government expenditure on education to 6 percent of GDP by financial year 2023-24.
  5. Health: Will strengthen government hospitals and the public health service. Double government expenditure on healthcare to 3 percent of GDP by financial year 2023-24.

Congress Manifesto Full Of Lies, Says PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday tore into the Congress, terming its manifesto as a "hypocrisy document" which was "full of lies".

Addressing his second rally in Arunachal Pradesh within a week, the prime minister cited the Congress manifesto for the 2004 Lok Sabha elections, and said it had promised that every house would have electricity by 2009.

"However, till 2014 around 18,000 houses were unelectrified... Just like them (the Congress), their manifesto is corrupt and full of lies. Therefore, it should be called hypocrisy document, not a manifesto," Modi said.

The prime minister also charged that the Congress was fooling farmer in the name of votes, whereas the BJP government has always been with them.

"We never committed the sin of betraying farmers but we introduced the mechanism from seed to market," the PM said.

Modi said the upcoming Lok Sabha polls will be about the choice between “trust and corruption, and about resolution and conspiracy”.

Congress Manifesto Aimed At 'Balkanisation' Of India: BJP

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said Congress’ promises were "unimplementable." He told a press conference in New Delhi the Congress manifesto indicates some costs of the income support program will be borne by the states and the rest will be generated by rationalizing some subsidy schemes.

Also read: India Opposition Leader Gandhi Pledges to End Poverty by 2030

Congress Manifesto On Judiciary

The Congress will introduce a bill to amend the Constitution to make the Supreme Court a Constitutional Court, according to its manifesto released today.

Under that bill, the apex court will hear and decide cases involving the interpretation of the Constitution and other cases of legal significance or national importance.

Here are the other changes the party plans on making in India’s judiciary:

  • To introduce bill to establish a Court of Appeal between the High Courts and the Supreme Court, to hear appeals from judgments and orders of High Courts.The Court of Appeal will sit in multiple benches of three judges each in six locations.
  • Retirement age of judges of Supreme Court and High Court as well as judicial members of tribunals will be fixed at 65 to prevent post retirement assignment for sitting judges.
  • To establish a National Judicial Commission for selection of judges for appointment to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. The NJC will be comprised of judges, jurists and parliamentarians.
  • An independent Judicial Complaints Commission to investigate complaints of misconduct against judges and recommend suitable action to Parliament

Other Highlights

In the last five years, the BJP government has spread hate and divisiveness, Gandhi said in response to a question. “Congress will work towards uniting India and bringing its people together.”

He further said that South India can feel the hostility from PM Modi. “I wanted to send message, 'I am standing with you',” he said, replying to a question on why he is contesting the Lok Sabha Elections from Wayanad, Kerala.

The party president is also contesting the elections from Amethi.

India's Economy Needs A Jump Start

The policies of demonetisation and Goods and Services Tax carried out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi have stalled India’s economic growth.

The money we plan on transferring to India’s poorest through the NYAY scheme will help jump-start the economy and lead to growth with jobs, Gandhi said today.

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