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A well-balanced focus on the future!

Posted in Featured, View Point

Published on June 11, 2024 with No Comments

The main opposition party of India in a run up to 2024 general elections released its manifesto in a fashion that it not only indicated a good work done in understanding the issues that ail India but also promises to undo key policy initiatives and promises of the Narendra Modi government if the party comes to power. From promising to probe the electoral bonds scheme and PM Cares Fund to rejecting the concept of one nation-one election, several sections of the Congress manifesto took a dig at the policies of Narendra Modi government.
Congress mentions under the section, “Defending the Constitution”, the party states “reversing the damage” done by the Modi government. “We promise that all anti-people laws passed by the BJP/NDA without proper parliamentary scrutiny and debate, especially those relating to workers, farmers, criminal justice, environment and forests and digital data protection, will be thoroughly reviewed and changed,” it said. Such an elaborative dig at a party that has ruled India for ten years gives more juice to the media than to the voters.
However, on the other fronts the party has promised to “re-set” India’s economic policy with thrust on “Work, Wealth, and Welfare”; while offereing fair competition to end “crony capitalism that defines the Modi government”. Strategically, congress party has named its manifesto “Nyay Patra” (Justice Paper), and talks of a targeted approach to uplift Youth, Women, Farmers, Labour and ensure equal participation.
For the youth, the party has guaranteed a new Right to Apprenticeship Act to provide ₹1 lakh a year for a graduate below 25 years of age, fill 30 lakh vacancies in sanctioned government posts, and write off student loans and interest accrued till March 15, 2024, as a one-time measure. It has also promised to provide free education till 12th standard and revisit the new education policy brought in by this NDA government.
Congress also resolved to introduce a “Mahalakshmi scheme” to provide ₹1 lakh per year to every poor family as an unconditional cash transfer. Additionally, the party said it will reserve 50 per cent of central government jobs for women starting from 2025 and scrutinise all gender-discriminating laws.
Farmers and their request for Minimum Sale Price for their produce has been a bone of contention in the Modi government. Even as India is preparing itself for the elections, the farmers are still protesting and the present government doesn’t find it apt to listen to them. Likewise, for farmers, the party has accepted their demand raised during the agitation to give a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) announced every year by the government.

Reaching out to the bottom of the population, the party has assured a national minimum wage of ₹400 per day introduce reforms in industrial and labour laws to restore balance between labour and capital. Even while announcing this, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi took Modi government to task and stated that the manifesto reflects what 98 per cent of the population wants and not 2 per cent of the monopolistic business regime of the likes of Adani that Prime Minister Narendra Modi reflects.
The Congress highlighted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has created a political finance monopoly by using Enforcement Directorate (ED), Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and Income Tax . The electoral bonds showed that political funding to the BJP was through “extortion” and putting “pressure” on the corporates, he alleged. The manifesto mentions that if Congress comes to power it will take action, because the electoral bonds document has all the details. “It is actually a chargesheet and Congress-led govt will use it, he said.
The party also promised to bring the next set of reforms in the GST Act, free healthcare, and bridge historical inequities by conducting a nation-wide socio-economic and caste census for affirmative action. The party also vowed to look for a constitutional amendment to lift the 50 per cent cap on reservations for SC, ST, and OBC communities.
The manifesto by Congress Party touches the basic needs of the Indians and is well elaborated. The manifesto has caught attention of the masses. The manifesto mentions it the party has set a target to double the country’s GDP in the next 10 years and has also promised to replace the GST laws that exist at present with GST 2.0. The new GST regime will be based on the universally accepted principle that GST shall be a single, moderate rate that will not burden the poor.

 

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