The Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday released the election manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2019 focusing mainly on welfare measures by working in areas such as jobs generation, agriculture, health, education and safety of women. However, the BJP said that the Congress’s manifesto was full of “dangerous idea” that could lead to “Balkanisation” of India and the Opposition party did not “deserve a single vote.” The 55-page document also enlists the Congress Party’s vision for internal security in the country.
“Poorest 20% of families to be guaranteed a cash transfer of Rs. 72,000 a year each; money to be transferred to the account of a woman of the family; estimated cost will be <1% of GDP in Year 1 and <2% of GDP in Year 2 and thereafter.”
“All of the 4 lakh vacancies as on 1 April 2019 in the Central Government, Central Public Sector Enterprises, Judiciary and Parliament will be filled before the end of March 2020. Congress will request State Governments to fill all vacancies, estimated at 20 lakh, in the 2 sectors and in local bodies.”
“Congress promises to waive the outstanding farm loans: introduce a separate ‘Kisan Budget’; re-design the BJP government’s failed Fasal Bima Yojana (Crop Insurance Scheme); double the funding in 5 years for teaching, R&D, agriculture-related pure sciences and applied science and technology in the agricultural sector; resotre the original Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Act, 2013 and the Forest Rights Act.”
“Congress promises to launch MGNREGA 3.0, which will increase the guaranteed days of employment from 100 to 150 days.”
“Congress promises to increase the budget allocation for education sector to the 6% of the total GDP.”
“Congress will provide for reservation of 33% of seats in the Lok Sabha and State Legislative Assemblies. Equal Remuneration Act, 1976 to be enforced effectively; repeal any provision of law that prohibits night shifts for women; comprehensive review of the Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplaces Act, 2013; establish a separate investigative agency to investigate heinous crimes against women and children.”
“Congress promises to decriminalize defamation and sedition; amend laws that allow detention without trial; pass Prevention of Torture Act; amend ASFPA; institute comprehensive prison reforms.”
Hours later BJP hit out at the Congress for undermining the internal security and doubting the intensions of armed forces. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitely, addressing a press conference at a at the BJP’s headquarters, said that manifesto’s provisions for Jammu and Kashmir looked like they had been drafted by the Tukde-tukde gang, those who BJP projects as breaking the integrity of India like Maoists and ultra-Leftists.
Addressing a rally in Tamil Nadu, BJP president Amit Shah also questioned why the Congress wanted to downgrade the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act in Jammu and Kashmir.
Later Congress’s chief spokesperson Randeep Surjewala had to come out for a press conference to clear the party’s stand that the special powers will not be withdrawn without consulting the Army. He made it clear that the party was not in favor a blanked imposition of law in the whole region but of lifting the regulation from peaceful districts.