New Delhi: Congress on Tuesday released the manifesto named 'Hum Nibhayenge' for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.
Congress said that the focus will be on three key issues – creating jobs, women's safety and wealth and welfare. The party said it will also pitch for 'Ujjwal Bharat'.
Main agenda of Congress in the election manifesto:
1. Minimum income guarantee to eliminate poverty or Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY):
On the party's showpiece minimum income guarantee scheme or Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), they promised to give Rs 72,000 per year to the poorest 20 per cent households in India in order to eliminate poverty.
2. Farmers and farm labour:
For farmers, Congress promised to put them on the path from "Karz Maafi" (loan waiver), to "Karz Mukti" (freedom from loans). This will be done through remunerative prices, lower input costs, and assured access to institutional credit, the party said, adding it will present a separate "Kisan Budget" every year, if voted to power.
3. Jobs revolution:
To the youth of India, Congress pledged to make jobs its top priority, saying it will ensure 34 lakh jobs in the public sector by filling all 4 lakh central government vacancies before March 2020, persuading the state governments to fill 20 lakh vacancies and creating an estimated 10 lakh new Seva Mitra positions in every gram panchayat and urban local bodies. The party said it will also provide a fillip to private sector by incentivising businesses for jobs creation and employing more women.
4. GST 2.0:
On GST tax, the Congress said it will radically simplify the GST regime with a single moderate rate of tax, zero rating of exports, and exemption for essential goods and services. It also promised panchayats and municipalities a share of GST revenues.
5. Armed Forces and Paramilitary Forces (AFSPA):
The Congress, it said, will reverse the trend of declining defence spending under the NDA government, and increase it to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces. "We will expedite all modernisation programmes of the Armed Forces in a transparent manner. We will improve social security, education and health facilities for our Paramilitary Forces and families," the party said.
6. Quality education for every child:
On education, Congress promised that school education from Class I to Class XII in public schools shall be compulsory and free.
7. Universal healthcare:
The party also promised to enact the Right to Healthcare Act and guarantee every citizen free diagnostics, out-patient care, free medicines and hospitalisation, through a network of public hospitals and enlisted private hospitals.
8. Gender justice:
The party promised to pass in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha the Women's Reservation Bill reserving 33 per cent of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies. "Congress will also reserve 33 percent of all posts/vacancies in the Central government for women," it said.
9. Adivasis welfare:
“No forest dweller will be unjustly evicted,” said the party as it promised to “implement, in letter and spirit, the Forest Rights Act, 2006”. It has also promised minimum support prices for non-timber forest produce.
10. Right to homestead:
Congress has promised to enact the Right to Homestead Act to provide a piece of land for every rural household that does not own a home or a land on which a house may be built.
11. End to hate crimes:
The Congress alleged that under the BJP-led government, “hate crimes and atrocities against vulnerable sections of the people have increased manifold”. It said the police and district administration will be held accountable for proven negligence in the case of riots, mob violence and hate crimes.
12. Environment and climate change:
The party also promised to strengthen the National Clean Air Programme as air pollution is a national public health emergency and promises .
13. Protecting our institutions:
The bodies such as RBI, ECI, CIC and RBI will be given authority and autonomy and alleged that the institutions of the country “were brazenly undermined in the last 5 years”, the Congress said.
14. Cities and urban governance:
The introduction of a new model of governance for towns and cities through directly elected mayors and introduction of right to housing was promised by the party.
15. Celebrating freedom:
The party has promised to enact a law on privacy and restrict the use of Aadhaar to the original purposes of the Aadhaar Act.
16. Sedition 124A:
“Omitting Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code (that defines the offence of ‘sedition’) that has been misused and, in any event, has become redundant because of subsequent laws,” it said. The party also promised to decriminalise laws that are directed against civil violations and can be subjected to civil penalties, such as making ‘defamation’ a civil offence.
“We took a year's time to cover all the objectives in the manifesto. We took opinions from the people and their wishes have been scripted in the manifesto,” said Rahul Gandhi at Congress’ manifesto launch in Delhi.
Rahul Gandhi said Congress promises 150 days of MNREGA in its manifesto. They have also decided to bring a separate farmer’s budget and six per cent of the GDP will be contributed to education.
The manifesto document was released by Congress president Rahul Gandhi and all top party leaders, including former prime minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi, P Chidambaram, who were present at the party’s Akbar Road headquarters in Delhi.
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