The Indian National Congress party today released its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections which is to start from April 11. The manifesto was released in the presence of Congress president Rahul Gandhi, Sonia Gandhi and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. Priyanka Gandhi and other big leaders were also there.
Highlights from Congress Manifesto:
Congress president Rahul Gandhi has been outlining the party’s agenda at election rallies and many of these are expected to be part of the manifesto including the much-hyped minimum income scheme.
Congress leader and manifesto committee chairman P Chidambaram said the contents of the manifesto are the millions of the voices that the party consulted for its constitution. “We could not accommodate all the voices given the limitations. When this is released, you will find that there is enough in it to address the concerns of the farmers, youth, women, industries, minorities, healthcare, foreign policy, national security among others,” he added.
- NYAY, the minimum guarantee scheme for BPL families, which Rahul Gandhi had unveiled last week.
- 33% reservation for women in Parliament, state assemblies and government jobs.
- A restructured Planning Commission to replace the government think tank Niti Ayog
- A universal health care scheme and steps for jobs creation and farm loan waivers
- The right to job may also be one of the prominent features of the manifesto after the Congress chief tweeted about 22 lakhs government jobs being vacant.
- Likely changes to the anti-defection law to ensure automatic disqualification of lawmakers in case they switch parties.
- Martyr status for central paramilitary forces personnel killed in action.
- Reforming Goods and Services Tax (GST) and liberalise loan dispersal process to address agrarian distress.
- Abolishing Angel Tax which refers to the income tax unlisted companies pay on capital raised by issuing shares.
- Agriculture and education councils on the lines of the GST Council
- Increasing budget for universities and higher education besides free education until class 12
- A national security doctrine based on the recommendations of Lt General (Retd) DS Hooda.
- Directly elected Mayors with 5-year terms and elected councils to improve quality of life in cities
Wanted to show South India that Congress stands for them: Rahul Gandhi
On his decision to contest from Wayanad, Gandhi said, “There is a feeling of neglect in South India. I wanted to show them that Congress stands with them. As far as I can see, we have alliances with Left across the country and there is no problem on that ticket.”
Won’t be a criminal offence if farmers cannot repay loans: Rahul
“Under our government, farmers who cannot pay back loans, it will no more be a criminal offence. For education, we will have 6 per cent budget. In healthcare, we will strengthen public hospitals,” Rahul Gandhi said.
On National Security, Gandhi said, “Congress will strive and make the country one. We will focus on strengthening national security.”