NEWS / CONGRESS MANIFESTO
NEW DELHI: The Congress party, which ruled India for much of the past 70 years and messed up with governance in many respects, is promising the moon — again — in a manifesto it released at the start of the 2019 Lok Sabha poll campaign. A separate Budget — Kisan Budget — has been promised for farmers — the single largest segment of the electorate across India. The manifesto promises to help help the youth — the new generation of voters — with more opportunities for jobs.
Releasing the manifesto, the Congress president Rahul Gandhi said here on Tuesday that these are apart from the already announced NYAY minimum income support scheme for the BPL families, with a governmental support of Rs 6,000 per month per family. He said the manifesto was in the making for the past one year of tireless efforts by the Congress leadership, and every promise herein are implementable and will be implemented — unlike the past promises of the Congress, and other parties too.
Holding out a promise to the dalits and the minorities, the manifesto promises to pass a new law in the first session of the Parliament to prevent hate crimes like mob-attacks, stippings, lynchings and immolations. It promised to strengthen present laws thereof.
In a major lure to the youths, the manifesto promises to fill 22lakh government-sector job vacancies that existed under the Modi rule. The Congress, if elected to power, will ensure 10 lakh new jobs in panchayats.
The manifesto promises 150 days of work for the poor under the national rural employment guarantee scheme.
To rev up the manufacturing sector which faced odds in recent years, the Congress says it will ensure that entrepreneurs will not need permission to start business. Registration for new units need be taken only in a span of three years after the start of a new venture.
For farmers, loan default will be only civil offence, not a criminal offence as is the case now. This would mean no arrest can be made.
EDUCATION: As Rahul Gandhi has promised earlier, the manifesto says six per cent of the GDP will be spent on education.
PUBLIC HEALTH: Public health sector to be strengthened. Meaning, affordable hospitalisation and treatment facilities for the poor.
RAFALE PROBE: The manifesto says Congress will review controversial deals of the Modi government, like Rafale, and also investigate how several financial sector fraudsters have escaped from the country under the Modi government. It will bring them back to face the law of the land.
CITIZENSHIP AMENDMENT BILL: The manifesto promised to scrap the Citizenship Amendment Bill introduced by the Modi government, against which large sections of the people in the North-East are protesting.
SECTION 499 IPC: Congress will make defamation a civil offence, by scrapping the Section 499 of the IPC, which is now treating this as a criminal offence.
FAIRNESS IN POLLS: Congress will ensure election process is transparent, and EVMs and VVPATs are tamper-proof.
LOOKING SOUTH: Rahul Gandhi said South India feels hostility from Modi and his government. Hence his candidature in Wayanad, Kerala, to back the South.
WHAT MANMOHAN SINGH SAID:
Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh termed the manifesto a forward-looking document which sums up aspiration of the people like dignity and self-respect. Congress manifesto is a “Jan Aawaz Ghoshna Patra’.
“This manifesto spells out what we would plan to do how to get rid of poverty. In 10 years of UPA 140 million people were out of poverty,” claimed the former prime minister who was present at the release of the Congress manifesto. Singh was prominently involved in the drafting of the manifesto, done over a period of several months. Another leader who was involved in the drafting of the manifesto was P Chidambaram, former finance minister. Consultations were also done with prominent financial wizards like former RBI governor Raghuram Rajan, before the proposals were finalised.
“The real issues are unemployment, 4.70 crore jobs were lost under the Modi-led government. Farm distress is the second biggest issue.
The third is the security of women and their children’s security and of their homes,” said P Chidambaram, who was finance minister under the UPA. –IHN-NN
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