This refers to the edit “Where is the money?” (April 4). Apart from the lack of information on how the Congress party will fund the plethora of welfare schemes, its election manifesto is also a reiteration of what it failed to do or should have done during its 10-year rule (2004-14). The Congress' 2009 election manifesto assured 33 per cent reservation for women in Lok Sabha which it promised to pass in the 15th Lok Sabha. It did not support the Bharatiya Janata Party on this in the last five years. Also, its much touted Nyay (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) costing Rs 3.6 lakh crore is a carryforward of its undertaking of “garibi hatao” in the sixties. Since Indian voters judge the credibility of an election-time manifesto by recalling the past record of the political party concerned and not by what it promises (as there is a wide gap between the two), the Congress manifesto would score low on this.
Some of its ideas are a cause for worry -- such as filling up all four lakh vacancies in the government and public sector institutions when they are already overstaffed. One is not sure about the sincerity of some of the promises. When in power, it tried earlier to do away with the use of Armed Forces (Special Power) Act in Jammu & Kashmir, but had to give up due to the objection from the army. It is promising to review again knowing that the army would not agree. The only silver lining is the promise to raise the education budget to 6 per cent, something it should have done when it introduced the Right to Education Act in 2011.
Y G Chouksey Pune
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