The contents of the Congress party’s election manifesto have the potential to appeal to the voters. The kind of promises made in the manifesto underline that the election must be about real issues. Its greatest strength is that as a document, it is truthful and free of hype and hyperbole. In the Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s words, nothing in the manifesto is a lie. It is aptly titled “Congress will deliver”. The claim that it is the voice of the people and reflects their wishes and it has not been drafted behind closed doors seems to be valid.
The focus on job creation, high growth or wealth creation and social welfare makes the Congress party’s agenda different from that of the Bharatiya Janata Party. The minimum income scheme promised in the manifesto is a game-changer for the simple reason that the impoverished multitudes are not promised anything better by any other party. When rolled out, it will jump-start the economy and erase India’s image as a land of widespread poverty. The promised increase of workdays from 100 to 150 under MGNREGA bolsters the financial safety net for those at the lower strata of the society. A separate kisan budget is the best thing that can happen to the distressed farmers. The promise to change default in loan payment from a criminal offence to a civil offence will win farmers’ support.
The promise of quality health care for the poor will go down well with people living at or below the poverty line. The promise to allocate 6 per cent of GDP for education, another big-ticket announcement, will be an investment in unlocking the country’s immense economic potential and when implemented will be truly revolutionary. The promise to scrap the archaic and draconian sedition law portends well for the cause of freedom. All in all, the manifesto can be rated highly for its focus on issues affecting the lives of people.
G David Milton Maruthancode
Letters can be mailed, faxed or e-mailed to:
The Editor, Business Standard
Nehru House, 4 Bahadur Shah Zafar Marg
New Delhi 110 002
Fax: (011) 23720201 · E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All letters must have a postal address and telephone number