Congress poll manifesto presents “five big ideas”

The Congress today unveiled its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections with its president Rahul Gandhi describing it as the “voice of people”. He 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.

Rahul claims 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,” said Rahul. 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”.

Rahul Gandhi was joined by other top party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi. Senior party leader P Chidambaram asserted that “wealth and welfare” is the manifesto’s central theme. He said real issues in the country are unemployment, farmer distress and women’s safety among others and accused the ruling BJP of trying to take narrative to hyper-nationalism.

“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,” he added.

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