The Congress on Tuesday released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha polls, making a slew of promises, including giving Rs 72,000 each to five crore poor families under the ‘Nyay’ scheme, filling up 22 lakh government vacancies, bringing a separate budget for farmers and fixing a single moderate GST rate.
The 55-page document titled ‘Hum Nibhayenge’ (We will deliver) focused on addressing the issues of joblessness, farm distress, the safety of women and boosting the rural economy, with stress on building a narrative on “real issues” faced by people.
The manifesto was released by party president Rahul Gandhi, former prime minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and senior leader P Chidambaram among others.
For farmers, Congress promised to put them on the path from “Karz Maafi” (loan waiver), to “Karz Mukti” (freedom from loans). This will be done through remunerative prices, lower input costs, and assured access to institutional credit, the party said, adding it will present a separate “Kisan Budget” every year if voted to power.
Speaking on the occasion at the Congress headquarters in New Delhi, Gandhi said the Congress will allocate 6 per cent of GDP to education, strengthen government hospitals and give high-quality healthcare access to poor if voted to power.
The party also promised to enact the Right to Healthcare Act and guarantee every citizen free diagnostics, out-patient care, free medicines and hospitalisation, through a network of public hospitals and enlisted private hospitals.
The Congress president alleged that the BJP government had spread hate and divisiveness in its five-year rule and his party will work towards uniting India by bringing people together.
In an interview to CNBC-TV18, Yogendra Yadav of Swaraj India; Reetika Khera, Associate Professor at IIM Ahmedabad; Syed Zafar Islam, BJP; Sanjay Jha, Congress; Rahul Verma, a fellow at the Centre for Policy Research and Sharat Pradhan, senior journalist discussed the Congress manifesto.