General Elections 2019 – Day 14
Congress manifesto promises mega sops to fight poverty
Congress President Rahul Gandhi today released the Congress party manifesto claiming to end poverty by promising Rs 6,000 per month or Rs 72,000 per year to 20 percent of the poorest families in India. The scheme aims to cover 25 crore members of 5 crore financially weak families through direct cash transfer.
Speaking to the media, he said the game-changing initiative is a “final assault on poverty” and will eliminate poverty from India. The Congress president said the party had deliberated in detail on how their government would make available the necessary funds but did not take questions on the details of the scheme.
The proposal is significantly higher than Rs 6,000 per year offered by the BJP to small and marginal farmers, but not including tenant farmers, in the 2019 Budget. The Congress promise will be popular as it promises to cover 20 percent of the poorest and not just the weaker farmer segment.
Nitin Gadkari files from Nagpur; confident of surpassing 2014
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari today filed his papers to contest the Nagpur Lok Sabha seat. Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis, Minister of Energy Chandrashekar Bawankule and other family members accompanied Gadkari. A confident Nitin Gadkari spoke to reporters promising to deliver even better results than 2014. In the previous election, Nitin Gadkari had defeated Vilas Muttemwar of Congress by a massive margin of 2.84 lakh votes.
CM Fadnavis said the people of the state were happy with the Modi-led government and were confident of the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance winning 45 of the 48 Lok Sabha seats.
Congress faces controversy over Karti Chidambaram; Sukhram
Times of India reports political infighting has broken out within the Tamil Nadu state Congress party over the nomination of Kart Chidambaram from the Sivaganga Lok Sabha seat. Former Union Minister EM Sudarsana Natchiappan is upset with Karti Chidambaram’s nomination as he was hopeful of contesting the seat. A lawyer by profession, Natchiappan has been at loggerheads with PA Chidambaram for a long time and claimed the Chidambaram family is unpopular among locals for having done very little for the Sivaganga constituency. Pending investigations against the father-son duo was another reason cited by Natchiappan for opposing Karti’s nomination.
The Hindu reported the return to Congress by the former Union minister for Telecom Sukhram along with his grandson Aashray Sharma. Sukhram was the Union minister under the Narasimha Rao government and convicted on corruption charges in 2011.
His grandson Aashray Sharma’s joining the Congress and the possibility of him contesting from the Mandi seat in Himachal Pradesh places Aashray’s father, Anil Sharma, BJP, in a peculiar spot. BJP has denied the Mandi seat to Aashray and with him joining the Congress and possibly contesting from Mandi puts Anil Sharma in a difficult position of choosing between his party BJP and supporting his son from the Congress.
Supreme Court asks Election Commission to increase VVPAT sample survey
The Supreme Court has asked the Election Commission to explore the possibility of increasing the Voter Verified Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) sample survey of one per assembly segment for the forthcoming assembly and Lok Sabha elections. The apex court clarified it was seeking to placate voter expectation rather than question the credibility of the current practice. The court demanded a response from the EC by 28 March.