The Congress on Tuesday released its manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha polls with a focus on creating jobs and easing tax laws if voted to power. The party also pledged to allocate at least 6% of the GDP for the education.
Speaking to reporters, Gandhi also reiterated his promise to implement NYAY scheme, guaranteeing a minimum annual income of Rs 72,000 for India’s 20 percent population living below the poverty line.
Gandhi said, “PM promised Rs. 15 lakh but that was a lie. Taking the idea from him, I asked the party leaders how much can the govt give to citizens…. Garibi pe war, saal me 72000 haza (war on poverty, Rs.72000 a year).”
Gandhi said that the Congress government will simplify the current GST laws and bring petrol and diesel under the GST ambit within the next two years. He said, “There is an economic emergency in the country following demonetisation and Gabbar Singh Tax (GST). There is a need to jump start the economy.”
Gandhi said that he did not want anything in the manifesto that was a lie. He said, “When we started a year ago, I made it clear that nothing in this can be a lie, because we live in a time where we hear a large number of lies every day.”
The Congress said that it will fill 22 lakh vacant government jobs by March 2020. The party said that it will decriminalise farmers’ loan and start a separate budget for the farmers. In other words, farmers not paying loan will not be ‘criminal offence’ if the Congress came to power.
When asked if he saw himself as the next prime minister of India, Gandhi said, “It is on the country, it is not on me. I just work. You have to ask the people of the country.”
The Congress manifesto also talked about removing Section 124A of the Indian Penal Code that defines the offence of sedition, adding that this law has been misused. The manifesto aims to pass a law titled the Prevention of Torture Act, but omit Section 499 of the Indian Penal Code and make defamation a civil offence.
Reacting to the manifesto, AICC Gneral Secretary Priyanka Vadra tweeted, “I urge everyone, especially young people and 1st time voters- Please read our manifesto. Make this election about real issues.”
You can access the Congress manifesto in full here.