The Congress on Tuesday unveiled its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections saying that it has “enough to address everyone’s concerns” in the country and will seize narrative of “polarization” from the BJP to bring it back on the real issues of “unemployment, farmers’ distress and women’s security”.
“I had given two instructions…It should reflect the wishes of the people of the country. And, it should be based on truthfulness because every day we hear lies from the prime minister,” Congress president Rahul Gandhi said after unveiling the party manifesto.
Gandhi said the manifesto has “five big ideas”. The biggest idea in the Congress manifesto is NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) scheme, he said. “Garibi par waar, 72,000 (War on poverty with Rs 72,000 cash support),” Gandhi said.
He promised to present a separate budget for the farmers on the lines of railway budget, now discontinued by the Narendra Modi government. The other “big ideas” in the Congress manifesto, according to Gandhi, are “6 per cent budgetary allocation to education sector”, “150 days of work under MNREGA” increasing the existing provision of 100 days of employment under the existing arrangement and push to economy by ensuring “no permission is required for starting a new business”.
“There is nothing in the manifesto that is a lie,” said the Congress party president at a press conference in New Delhi.
Gandhi also dismissed the criticism of the Bharatiya Janata Party, which has dubbed the NYAY as “not workable” scheme. He said, “I agree it is not doable for the BJP. But it is doable for the Congress.”
Congress manifesto committee chairman P Chidambaram said, “Wealth and welfare is the theme of the Congress manifesto. The idea is how do you marry wealth and welfare.”
“The idea is to set the narrative for the 2019 election. The BJP, which is our opposition, is trying to seize the narrative. They are trying to take the narrative to old, 2014 election narrative of polarization, divisiveness and hyper nationalism,” Chidambaram said.
He said the election document of the party addresses the “concerns of our farmers, youth, women, Dalits, minority, industry, workers as well as those about internal security, national security and foreign policy.”