Indian National Congress launched its election manifesto in New Delhi on Tuesday titled ‘Hum Nibhayenge’ or ‘Congress will Deliver’.
The session started with the opening speech from Congress Spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala highlighting the process of deciding the manifesto. The Congress clearly stated the tonality of the manifesto calling it a ‘people’s document’.
The process included –
There were 20 sub committees across India. They conducted 121 public consultations, 53 closed door consultations across 24 states, three union territories and the NRI community across 12 countries.
The process also included online interaction wherein people could provide their inputs. They received 1,60,000 inputs.
Congress leader P Chidambaram also gave an opening speech. He stated that the content of the manifesto is the voice of millions they’ve heard over time. The manifesto addresses issues related to farmers, youth, Dalits, minorities, industries, women, small and medium enterprises, education, healthcare, workers, organised sector, internal security, national security, foreign policy and Jammu and Kashmir.
The main idea, according to him, was to set the narrative for the 2019 elections. He said that BJP is their opposition, as they are trying to seize the narrative. He emphasised that they will steer clear of polarisation and hyper nationalism and bring the real issues to the fore front.
The top 3 focus issues in the present circumstances –
– Unemployment – 4.70 crores were lost.
– Farmers distress – average Indian farmer has burden of approx. 1 lac.
– Women – prime issue is security of women and children.
The theme of the manifesto, according to him, was – ‘How to marry wealth and welfare’.
Former prime minister Manmohan Singh also addressed the gathering. He said the document is a forward-looking manifesto that projects the aspirations of people of India – a strong, purposeful and modern economy is the vision.
He stated that by 2030 poverty should be done away with. The manifesto is worthy of all-round dialogue and it is now the duty of congress workers to carry the message far and wide.
The party president, Rahul Gandhi then released the manifesto in the presence of top congress leaders including the former Congress President and UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
He emphasised that this was a massive step for the Congress party, the process of which started a year back.
He had asked Congress leaders Chidambaram and Deve Gowda to focus on two things –
– Manifesto should reflect the wishes of the people.
– Whatever is going to be in the manifesto has to be truthful. Nothing should be a lie.
The Manifesto has 5 main themes –
1) NYAY Scheme – He stated that the BJP had earlier promised to put Rs 15,000 in the bank accounts of the poor. It was a lie.
They are guaranteeing Rs 72,000 per year under the Income Guarantee Scheme.
2) Unemployment and Youth – The Congress guarantees 22 lakh govt jobs and 10 lakh at the Gram Panchayat level.
For 3 years, the youth of India don’t need any permission to set up any business.
MNREGA – It will now ensure 150 days guaranteed employment instead of 100 days as per the former scheme.
3) Farmers – A separate budget for farmers budget. If farmers can’t pay their loans, it will not be a criminal offense but a civil offence.
4) Education and Health – 6% of GDP will be given to education. IIT, IIM, Universities etc will be made accessible for all.
Healthcare – They will make govt healthcare more robust rather than private entities gaining profits from them. The poor to have access to the best healthcare facilities.
5) Security – The Congress ensured that they get the country together. Target is internal and national security.
He also specified that India is going through economic emergency because of GST and demonetisation and needs ‘shock therapy’. Hence, Congress will put money in the pockets of the poor.
In answer to a question, he also stated that they will change the ‘Gabbar Singh Tax’ into the real GST. He said that they will give a tax which will be simple and easy.
He clarified that the manifesto isn’t their thoughts, but the thoughts of the people.
Here’s the link to the complete manifesto- https://manifesto.inc.in/en/