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Published On: Tue, Jan 29th, 2019

Modi provided ‘ “Maximum Income Guarantee his 15 Richest friends: Rahul Gandhi

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Rahul-29NEW DELHI : A day after announcing his party would ensure “minimum income guarantee” for the poor if Congress was voted to power at the Centre, party chief Rahul Gandhi Tuesday took a dig at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying if Prime Minister Narendra Modi   “can give maximum income guarantee to 15 rich people, we are going to give minimum income guarantee to every single Indian”.
Mr Gandhi had made the party’s big election pitch yesterday, calling it a “historic decision”, and pre-empting a possible government scheme involving cash transfer to farmers instead of subsidies as a sort of monthly income support. he has provided ‘maximum income guarantee’ to 15 of his friends.

“If you are Anil Ambani, you have the guarantee to maximum income you can get… Jobs can be stolen from the people of Karnataka, Kerala, Odisha, HAL (Hindustan Aeronautics Limited) can be pushed aside and Anil Ambani can be given a contract; and for five years, people of India have watched this tamasha,” the Congress chief said.
He then reeled off the names of businessmen allegedly involved in financial irregularities, tagging the sums involved in each case for maximum impact:  “Nirav Modi – 45,000 crore, Mehul Choksi, 30,000 crore. Vijay Mallya, 10,000 crore, Lalit Modi… ”
“For the last five years, he has provided a maximum income guarantee to 15 of his friends. We have decided that if Narendra Modi can give maximum income guarantee to 15 rich people, we will give minimum income guarantee to every single citizen,” Gandhi said. Like MGNREGA committed right to work, like RTI committed right to information, like Food Security Bill guarantees the right to food, the Congress government is going to guarantee a minimum income to every poor Indian citizen, he told a booth-level party workers meeting here.
Attacking the policies of the Modi government, he alleged that the prime minister had done nothing for the farmers and assured that a congress government would ensure their welfare. “We have waived off farm loans in the three states where we won elections…. (Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh).

We have committed that in 2019, we will have a government that will make up for all the crimes that Narendra Modi has done against farmers in five years,” he said.The Congress President said the Women’s Bill would be passed on a priority if the party was voted to power in the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.”The first thing we will do when we win the 2019 election is to pass the Women’s Reservation Bill in the Parliament,” he said.
He was responding to a suggestion from a party worker on the need for more women candidates.”We want to see women in position of leadership,” he added.The bill seeking to reserve 33% of seats in Parliament and legislature has been pending for a long time in view of lack of consensus.

Refraining from directly commenting on the sensitive Sabarimala temple issue, wherein the Supreme Court had permitted entry of women of all age groups into the Lord Ayyappa temple, he merely said the party respects the traditions of Kerala.”Congress party respects women of Kerala and at the same time respects the traditions of Kerala.
We do not agree with the violence carried out by the BJP and CPI(M) in the state,” he said. The 69 day annual pilgrimage season in Sabarimala, which ended on January 20, had witnessed widespread protests from devotees and right wing groups. This was over the CPI(M)-led LDF government’s decision to implement the September 28 Apex Court verdict, allowing women of all ages to enter the shrine.

The Congress President referred to Kerala as not just a state, but an ‘idea’.”It is a way of looking at the world that includes compassion, humility, respect. People of Kerala are helping guide the people of India,” he said.”Don’t think less of yourself. RSS has cadres, CPI(M) has cadres, but India lives in the hearts of Congress workers’, he told the gathering.
Gandhi alleged that the CPI(M) and BJP work on ‘dividing’ the people of Kerala and said the real issue of jobs and protection of farmers was put on the back burner.He also flayed the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax.Gandhi told the Congress workers that the party had launched a ‘shakti’ programme in which all workers could directly talk to the leadership.”Want every single Congress worker to feel ‘Ente booth, ente abhimaan, ente party’ (“My booth, my pride, my party”).

In a statement this morning, Mayawati, one of the key opposition leaders, said: “Is this promise another cruel joke like the Congress’s promise of “garibi hatao” or that of the present BJP government of depositing Rs. 15 to 20 lakhs in the account of all poor or “achchey din” which have only proved to be hollow promises?”
There have also been questions about how the Congress was planning to fund it. Two years ago, the idea of a Universal Basic Income in the Economic Survey of then Economic Advisor Arvind Subramanian had said the time is not right yet for such a scheme. Unlike the Universal Basic Income, which was meant for everyone, the Congress plan involves only the poor.(With Agency Inputs ).

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