- Congress announced minimum income guarantee programme ahead of polls
- Up to Rs 72,000 annually will go to accounts of women in 5 crore families
- Priyanka Gandhi Vadra says she is very happy about impact it will have
Congress general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra on Tuesday said what made her "most happy" about the party's minimum income guarantee proposal was the impact it would have on the lives of women in five crore households that will get Rs 72,000 in their accounts every year. Announced by her brother Congress chief Rahul Gandhi at a news conference on Monday, the Nyuntam Aay Yojana or NYAY scheme is the flagship election pitch of the opposition party for the national polls now just over two weeks away.
The NYAY scheme assures up to Rs 72,000 a year or Rs 6,000 a month to 20 per cent of India's poorest families if the Congress is voted back to power. Any family earning less than Rs 12,000 a month will receive the difference, up to Rs 6,000, in its bank account under the plan. Rahul Gandhi, facing a tough opponent in Prime Minister Narendra Modi called the proposal a "final assault on poverty" and said it would benefit 25 crore people.
The Congress has said it hopes to roll out the minimum income program nationwide within two years, and target paying the amount into the account of the family's senior woman member.
Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who was appointed the party's general secretary for eastern Uttar Pradesh earlier this year, tweeted in Hindi on Tuesday: "What makes me most happy is that through the NYAY scheme, women in five crore households will get Rs 72,000 every year."
At a key strategy meeting in Gujarat earlier this month, she had suggested that the Congress hard sell the scheme, pitting the party against the BJP which it accuses of being pro-rich, sources had said. She had also called for naming the scheme NYAY - the Hindi word for justice. On Monday, at a party meeting, she had urged leaders to highlight the Rs 72,000 annual dole rather than the monthly figure.
Political commentators said it was after the Gujarat meeting that the Congress was seen switching its campaign focus back to economic and social issues such as jobs amid the BJP's emphasis on nationalism, boosted boosted by hostilities with Pakistan.
Elections for the 543 seats in the Lok Sabha will be held in seven phases starting April 11 until May 19. Votes will be counted on May 23.
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