General Elections 2019 – Day 22
Will the Congress manifesto – ‘Will Deliver’ spoil BJP’s party?
The Congress party high command led by its President Rahul Gandhi released the much-awaited Congress manifesto titled “Will Deliver” for the Lok Sabha elections 2019.
The meeting with the press included Sonia Gandhi, former PM Dr. Manmohan Singh, former FM P Chidambaram, former Defence Minister AK Antony, party spokesperson Randeep Surjewala, and other leaders.
Speaking to the press, Rahul Gandhi called the manifesto “voice of the people.” He spoke of the Congress narrative around jobs, fighting poverty and farmer distress. He was aggressive in challenging PM Modi to an open debate.
Here are the manifesto highlights:
- Minimum income guarantee to eliminate poverty or Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY): promises Rs 72,000 per annum into the bank accounts of the poorest.
- Jobs: promise to create 24 lakh jobs – including filling 4 lakh central government vacancies before March 2020; persuading state governments to fill 20 lakh vacancies; 10 lakh Seva Mitra jobs at panchayat level
- Farmers and farm labour: the shift from Karz Maafi to Karz Mukti
- Universal healthcare: Double expenditure on healthcare to 3 percent of GDP by 2023-24
- GST 2.0: introduce a single tax regime; share part of GST revenue with panchayat and municipalities
- Armed forces and paramilitary forces: increase defence spending for modernization; improve facilities to paramilitary personnel and their families
- Quality education for every child: public school education from Class 1 to XII to be compulsory and free; budget allocation on education to double to 6 percent of GDP by 2023-24
- Gender justice: to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in 17th Lok Sabha session reserving 33 percent seats for women; 33 percent of government vacancies to go to women
- Adivasis: ST rights to be secured under Forest Rights Act, 2006
- Right to homestead: every rural household without a home to be given land to build a home
- End to hate crimes: Police and district administration to be held accountable for hate crimes, lynching, and mob violence
- Celebrating freedom: improved privacy; restrict the use of Aadhaar; review and repeal outdated laws
- Protecting our institutions: reaffirm and strengthen the independence of RBI, ECI, CBI, CIC, etc., abolish electoral bonds; establish National Election Fund
- Cities and urban governance: Right to Housing; slum upgradation
- Environment and climate change: establish Environment Protection Authority; fight air pollution
Arun Jaitley leads in tearing into Congress manifesto
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley took the lead in tearing into the Congress manifesto in a press meet held shortly after the Congress manifesto released today. He said the manifesto was not given a detailed thought and was full of promises that were difficult to implement. He also accused the Congress of risking the nation’s security by promising to dilute the contentious AFSPA and opening a dialogue with the separatists in J&K.
Tej Pratap’s ‘Lalu Rabri Morcha’ adds to Bihar electoral cauldron
Tej Pratap Yadav, elder son of RJD supremo Lalu Prasad Yadav, today announced forming the “Lalu Rabri Morcha” promising to field candidates to fight 20 Lok Sabha seats. Adding to the confusion, Tej Pratap appealed to his mother to stand from Saran, a seat where Chandrika Rai, father of his estranged wife Aishwarya, is contesting on an RJD ticket.
Tej Pratap claimed Saran was a “family” seat from where his father and his mother had contested and won. To placate his brother Tejaswi, he called him his “Arjun” saying some people were stoking rivalry between brothers.