New Delhi: In a counter to the Bharatiya Janata Party government's income plan for farmers at Rs 6000 per year, Indian National Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday proclaimed that Rs 72,000 a year would be given to 20 per cent of the nation's most poor families, if the party comes to power in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.
The money will be transferred directly to the bank accounts of these families, Mr Gandhi said at a news conference here after consultations of the Congress working committee which discussed the party manifesto for the 2019 elections for the House of the People.
'Under the Minimum income guarantee, Congress will give Rs 72,000 per annum to the the poorest 20 per cent families if the party come to power,' Mr Gandhi said. The scheme will ensure a family has a minimum income of Rs 12,000 in a month.
Final assault on poverty
Calling it a 'path breaking scheme,' a 'ground-breaking idea' and 'final assault on poverty,' the Congress president said,'It is a historic plan and an extremely powerful, dynamic, well thought-through idea. It is not acceptable to the Congress that there is poverty in India in the 21st century. This is the final assault on poverty.
There is no such scheme anywhere else in the world.'
Calling it a 'historic' moment, Mr Gandhi said,''it is on this day that the Congress party launched its final assault on poverty. 'Nyay For India' is our dream and our pledge. The time for change has come.'
He said that five crore families and 25 crore citizens will directly benefit from this scheme.
Questioned if the plan was 'viable,' Mr Gandhi said,' All calculations have been done. We have been studying the scheme for four-five months and consulted with economists. It is fiscally possible. We are sure that we will eliminate poverty forever from this country.
'We committed to the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, we delivered MGNREGA and lifted 14 crore people out of poverty.. Now Congress party will lift 25 crore people out of poverty. We will ensure that poverty is eradicated from the nation.' Lashing out at the Modi Government, the Congress chief alleged that the people have been suffering for the last five years. 'For the past five years, the citizens of the nation had to go through a lot of hardships. So, the Congress party has decided to give justice to the poor people of the country. 'I want the poor to be respected in the country,' he said.
Taking on the BJP government, the Congress president said that Mr Narendra Modi is creating two Indias, one for rich and another for poor people . 'The Congress is for one India . We feel that there should be no poverty in the 21st century. So we decided to give money to poor people 'Mr Gandhi added. Hitting out at the Narendra Modi-led National Democratic Alliance Government, Mr Gandhi said,'If Modiji can give money to rich people why can't we give to poorest of poor.' Elaborating, he said that it is a phase wise scheme and first the pilot project will be run and then it would be launched across the country. Responding to a question that people will be getting money without any job, Mr Gandhi said that everyone is working and suppose one is earning Rs 6,000 per annum, then his income will be topped with Rs 6,000 so that he or she will have the minimum guarantee income of Rs 12 thousand per year.
The CWC consultations, chaired by Mr Gandhi, were attended by former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and senior leaders of the party Ahmed Patel, A K Antony, Ghulam Nabi Azad, P Chidambaram, Mallikarjun Kharge, Ambika Soni and Anand Sharma. All India Congress Committee General secretary incharge for Uttar Pradesh (east), Ms Priyanka Gandhi Vadra were also present at the deliberations, along with AICC General secretary incharge for Uttar Pradesh (west), Jyotiraditya Scindia. The party manifesto for the Lok Sabha election has been prepared by a committee headed by senior leader P Chidambaram. The Congress has involved people from different sections of the society and held several rounds of consultations with them across the country to include their views in the manifesto. Sources said that the CWC also discussed the progress on alliances by the Congress in various states. Monday's meeting of the CWC came a fortnight after its consultations on March 12 in Ahmedabad. UNI