Congress president Rahul Gandhi releases his party's election manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections.
The Congress today 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, 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.
Here are the highlights from the press conference where Rahul Gandhi released Congress's election manifesto:
Rahul Gandhi Addresses Media
- Jobs, farm distress and a stagnant economy is what we are stuck in and see all around us. Our focus will be to first work on these and get the economic engines started. They are rusted at the moment. We need to give a shock-therapy to jump-start the economy.
- By giving money directly into people's accounts, we will aid better spending and that will give impetus to the Indian economy, and soon we will see the good old growth rates that we saw under the UPA-2 government.
- The narrative is clear - If Modi ji can giver 30,000 crore to industrialists and people like Anil Ambani, then the Congress can ensure that we can and will put in money under the Nyay scheme directly into the accounts of the famers and poor. The truth is that the poor and farmers are in utter distress and this govt is not interested to help them.
- I agree that Nyay is not doable, but by the BJP. For the Congress it is possible and we will show them how it is done. The BJP said farm loan waivers cannot be done, but we showed it by doing so in states. We will do this as well. I do not lie like the BJP and PM Modi. I won't say 15 lakhs like he did, but I will promise Rs 72,000 per year to the poor and will deliver it.
- We will remove the Gabbar Singh Tax and make it into GST that should have been. We will remove 5 GST slabs and bring 1 slab at a low tax rate. The way it should have been in the first place.
- I challenge the prime minister to a public debate on all these issue, on corruption and on national security. Why don't you ask him questions the way you ask me questions. Why don't you ask him why he is afraid of holding an open press conference where any of you can ask any question. You ask me, but you all are afraid of him.
- Modi ji keeps saying Hindu, Hindu, but he must realize he misses the point. You see, everyone is a Hindu. Every single person is a Hindu, but the issues are that some are starving, some are in debt and cannot pay abck, many live in poverty, women are unsafe, and nothing is being done about all this. Yes, they all are Hindu.
And I am very happy to see how this manifesto has been made. Everyone contributed greatly, and I thank them all, Says Rahul Gandhi
The Nyay Scheme: PM said he would give Rs 15 lakh in every bank account and we all know that was a lie. We took that and I said what can we do to put as much money in the poorest people's bank accounts. And we arrived at the figure of Rs 72,000 per year.... Rs 3,60,000 in 5 years. This will go directly to their accounts. And this will help remonetize what Mr Modi had demonetized.
Jobs: The youth are not getting jobs in India. Modi ji promised 2 crore jobs and that was a lie. We have come up with an actionable plan to create jobs. There are 10 lakh possible jobs at the gram panchayat level and we will deliver on it. Unlike Make in India, which is a bureaucratic process and involves bribes, we will, for entrepreneurs too, Mr Gandhi has spoken about his party's plan to ensure that "anyone would be able to start their business without any permits or clearances, and also get a tax holiday for the first three years. We will also increase jobs under MGNREGA.
Farmers: We see that the rich and industrialists get away with bank loan defaults, but the farmers go to jail. We have decided that farm loan default, in case they cannot pay back, will no longer be a criminal offence.
Everything In Manifesto Is Truthful, Says Congress President Rahul Gandhi
- We are releasing this manifesto and it is a massive step for the Congress party. When we started a year ago, I spoke to Mr Chidambaram and others and told them that this manifesto must reflect the wishes of the people of India. Whatever is in the manifesto must be truthful. I made it clear that nothing in this can be a lie, because we live in a time where we hear a large number of lies every day.
- There will be a separate Budget for farmer just like there used to be a separate Budget for the Railways: Rahul Gandhi
- The BJP has been counter-productive to India's growth story. All they have done is divide communities and weakened our security, you all have seen what has happened in Kashmir in the last 5 years. We will give a top priority to national security.
Unique Day In The History Of The Congress
- Former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said, "Today is a unique day in the history of the Congress. We are about to unveil a scheme which will revolutionaries the farm sector and make the lives of the poorest of the poor. The support to farmers will ensure that India's economy gets even more strengthened."
- In the 10 years of the UPA, 114 million people were brought out of poverty and we will make sure that we will better that. A program of this scale is bound to do so.
- We are releasing the manifesto today and it will now rest on the Congress workers to take it to the remotest corners of the country and all communities, to help them understand what we are planning to do. India will get rid of poverty with this kind of vision of inclusive growth.
Manifesto Concerns Our Farmers, Youth, Dalits
- Former union minister P Chidambaram said, "The contents in the manifesto are in a way the voices of millions of Indians. It addresses the concerns of our farmers, youth, dalits, those concerned over education, health, foreign policy and national security. We have tried to accommodate all of it in the manifesto There was so much to be said, but we tried our best to accommodate as much as we could. Our party president has already set the narrative."
- 4 crore, 70 lakh jobs were lost, farmers are in a bad state and in immense debt. Women are not secure, unemployment, farmer distress and women's safety are the top 3 issues, and our manifesto guarantees support for these. Our manifesto is about marrying wealth and welfare
Congress Releases 2019 Manifesto
Congress MP Rajeev Gowda says, "Rahul Gandhi said he wanted something different this time in mainfesto, he said go out and listen to people of India and reflect it in manifesto. We took our mission very seriously, this manifesto reflects the ideas and hopes of people of India We reached out to people in over 121 consultations across the nation and 53 closed-door consultations which spanned over 20 states and uniton territories. People were very happy that they were approached for making the manifesto."
Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala says, "Today is a historic day. Today's Congress manifesto will help to make a strong and developed India."