This Article is From Mar 27, 2014

Don't go by opinion polls, says Sonia Gandhi as Congress releases manifesto

Don't go by opinion polls, says Sonia Gandhi as Congress releases manifesto

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Congress President Sonia Gandhi and party Vice President Rahul Gandhi releasing the party's election manifesto titled 'Your Voice Our Pledge' at AICC Headquarters in New Delhi

New Delhi: The Congress party today promised a slew of pro-poor measures including homes and affordable health care for all, with its top leaders taking digs at the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Congress president Sonia Gandhi said people should not believe in opinion polls that have predicted her party's defeat. "They got it wrong in the previous election in 2009. I am confident that we will win," she said.

Here are 10 facts on the Congress manifesto:

  1. Besides shelter and health for all, the manifesto also offers a greater push for infrastructure. The government will invest 1 trillion dollars in the next five years, said Rahul Gandhi. (Read full text of Congress' manifesto)

  2. Stating that his manifesto factored in his conversations with a wide swathe of Indians, Mr Gandhi targeted Mr Modi, saying, "Narendra Modi represents the ideology divisive politics. His ideology will hurt India."

  3. The Congress vice president also referred to the BJP's "India Shining" campaign in 2004, which proved to be a spectacular failure after the party lost power. "Their campaign today is like that balloon. It will burst," he said.  

  4. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh countered the BJP's criticism of his 10-year rule, referencing Mr Modi's claims of exception development in his Gujarat. "Today we hear about Gujarat Model, but there is only one model, the Congress model - growth with equality," he said. (Read)

  5. Sonia Gandhi called the election a fight for protecting the integrity and respect of the Constitution. "We will fight for an India where there is no discrimination, which is secular," said the Congress chief.

  6. In what appeared to be a response to these comments, Narendra Modi tweeted, "Those who have no answers to people for their misdeeds mislead the nation in the name of secularism. India wants peace, harmony & Sadbhavana."

  7. Mr Modi's BJP called the Congress manifesto a "document of deceit. The party's spokesperson Ravi Shankar Prasad said it is "devoid of credibility, bereft of substance and seriously lacks seriousness." (BJP labels Congress manifesto as 'document of deceit')

  8. Sources say Sonia Gandhi's daughter Priyanka Gandhi Vadra also oversaw the party manifesto, besides senior leaders.

  9. The national election will be held on nine days from April 7 to May 12. The results will be announced four days later on May 16.

  10. After two straight terms in power, the Congress is said to be fighting one of its most difficult elections with opinion polls predicting its defeat to the BJP led by Narendra Modi.



.