Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday released the manifesto document for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 renewing some old unfulfilled promises and making some new ones.
Most of the schemes promised are a rehash of promises that the party made before coming to power in previous elections but failed to fulfill when it came to power.
Gandhi said that there are five primary areas of focus– farmer’s debt, addressing unemployment, supporting entrepreneurs, education and healthcare.
- Increase the guaranteed days of employment from 100 days to 150 under MNREGA scheme.
- Non-repayment of farmer’s debt will not be treated as criminal offence but as a civil offence.
- A separate ‘Kisan Budget’ for farmers
- 6% of GDP to be spent on improving education and in government institutes.
- Health facilities for poorest strata of the society.
- Introducing the Nyay scheme. 20% of poorest families to get Rs 72,000 per annum.
- Employment to 10 lakh youths in Gram Panchayats.
- Entrepreneurs will not be required to take any permission for three years to start business
- Amend AFSPA – the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act
- Omit Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code that defines ‘sedition’.
The party document is the result of “extensive nationwide consultations” and it will be a very “powerful” document aimed at readdressing key challenges facing the nation, claimed Gandhi.
The party’s manifesto committee was headed by former finance minister P Chidambaram against whom the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and the Enforcement Directorate (ED) have both filed chargesheets in corruption cases.
Garibi Hatao (“Remove poverty”) was the theme and slogan of former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s 1971 election campaign and later also used by her son Rajiv Gandhi.
“The Congress is still relying on the ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan coined by Indira Gandhi in 1971 as they could not drive away poverty during their rule, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman quipped on Congress’ manifesto.