Lok Sabha Elections 2019: The minimum income guarantee scheme, said Rahul Gandhi, would lift 25 crore people out of poverty.
New Delhi: Days before the national election, Rahul Gandhi today announced what he called a “historic” minimum income guarantee scheme assuring Rs. 72,000 a year for India’s poorest families if the Congress came to power.
The money will be directly transferred to the bank accounts of 20 per cent of the poorest in the country. The scheme, said the Congress president, would lift five crore families or 25 crore people out of poverty.
“It is not acceptable to the Congress that there is poverty in India in the 21st century. The final assault on poverty has begun,” he said of the scheme named Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) by his sister Priyanka Gandhi Vadra.
The acronym NYAY means “justice” in Hindi; Priyanka Gandhi suggested the name in Ahmedabad, when she attended a Congress leadership meet for the first time.
“It is fiscally possible. We have been studying the scheme for four-five months. We committed to the MGNREGA, we delivered MGNREGA … now we will ensure justice for the poor,” said Rahul Gandhi.
He also described it as an “extremely powerful, dynamic, well-thought-through idea.”
Rahul Gandhi announced the scheme on a day the poll process formally took off as candidates for the first round of polling filed their papers. Minutes before the press conference, the Congress Working Committee (CWC), the party’s top policy-making body had met to finalise its manifesto.
After making the big announcement, he asked the media, “Haan, surprise hue na? (so, you look surprised)”.
He had announced a framework for the minimum income guarantee scheme in January.
NYAY will be the headliner in the Congress campaign for the elections. The party has been attacking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government over demonetisation and the lack of jobs, which, Rahul Gandhi says, has left millions of Indians struggling.