In a major election sop, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday promised minimum universal basic income for the poor, if his party comes to power by winning the coming Lok Sabha elections.
Rahul, who addressed an impressive rally here, said that this "promise and vision" is aimed at eliminating poverty and hunger in the country. "The objective of my promise is to ensure that nobody remains hungry in the country," he said.
"After winning the Lok Sabha polls this year, we will take a step that no party has ever taken. We will ensure minimum universal basic income to the poor. No government in the world has ever taken such a decision," Gandhi said.
Later, Gandhi tweeted: "We cannot build a new India while millions of our brothers & sisters suffer the scourge of poverty. If voted to power in 2019, the Congress is committed to a Minimum Income Guarantee for every poor person, to help eradicate poverty & hunger. This is our vision & our promise."
At the rally, the Congress chief also promised to empower the farmers, poor and marginalised. Targeting the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), he said that this party only works to benefit the rich.
"Whenever we spoke of loan waiver, the BJP said they do not have money. In Chhattisgarh, they said they have no money. In Madhya Pradesh, (former chief minister) Shivraj Singh Chouhan said he does not have money," he said.
"In Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said he does not have money for loan waiver. They do not have money for loan waiver but they can waive loans off India's 15 richest industrialists," he said.
"What the BJP could not do in 15 years, we did in 24 hours. There is no dearth of money. Prime Minister Modi only wants you to listen to his 'Mann ki Baat.' Rafale (fighter deal) was a huge contract. Lakhs of youth could have got jobs. But Modi wanted to benefit his industrialist friend," he said.
The Congress chief also accused the BJP of diluting the Land Acquisition Bill in the Parliament.
He said: "Our land acquisition bill guaranteed four times the price of land to farmers and if industrialists did not start work in 10 years, the land would go back to farmers. But Prime Minister Modi and the BJP diluted the bill."
He further said that the Congress government in Chhattisgarh would work for the benefit of the people in the state.
"You reposed your trust in us and helped us form the government in Chhattisgarh. The responsibility is huge. We will try our level best to fulfill your aspirations. All our leaders fought the battle unitedly and this helped us win the poll," said Rahul.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)