Lok Sabha 2014: Congress Starts Manifesto-War, BJP And AAP To Follow

The Congress manifesto is being projected as a pet project of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi who held various consultations with people all across the country.

The Congress party released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha election today. With this, the manifesto-wars for the upcoming fight has started. The Congress party has promised right to health and housing as a major plank in its manifesto.

The manifesto is being projected as a pet project of party vice-president Rahul Gandhi who held various consultations with people all across the country.

Releasing the manifesto, Congress high command Sonia Gandhi said, “Rahul consulted with people from different parts of India and incorporated their suggestions and aspirations. As it was not possible to include all suggestions in this manifesto, we will bring out the rest of the suggestions in the next few days.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh called it a “forward looking document” which attempts to cover the needs of all sections of society, from farmers, the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribes, women and children.

Rahul, who addressed the release function, took pot-shots on BJP prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi and said the latter represents an exclusionary ideology that will damage India. He showed hope that his party will defeat that ideology.

He said that the opinions and wishes of business classes are also reflected in this manifesto.

Here are the key points of the Congress manifesto:

  • Right to Healthcare, Right to Homestead, Right to Social Security
  • Keeping eye on production, bringing back high economic growth rate
  • Struggling for unity and an ideology which doesn’t divide
  • Fixed pension scheme for the aged and disabled
  • Economic security to low income families.
  • Eight per cent growth rate
  • Ensure enactment of remaining anti-corruption bills as priority.

The BJP, on the other hand, called the manifesto a deceit. The party is expected to release its manifesto soon.

According to Reuters, the party has put jobs and urbanisation at the centre of its policy pitch as it seeks to oust the Congress-led government. It is aiming at creating 250 million jobs over the next 10 years as part of an economic development programme that could create 100 new ‘smart’ cities.

Modi has been campaigning on his record of economic development in Gujarat which on many metrics has performed better than the national average over the past decade. In other points, the BJP will propose introducing a national general sales tax – seen as key to getting rid of a hodge-podge of existing levies to make tax collection more effective – and streamlining subsidies, a second source said.

With the Aam Aadmi Party also in the fray, it will be interesting to note the pointers provided by it in the national interest. Until now, AAP doesn’t have an economic policy on its table for putting in the manifesto as per its own leader Yogendra Yadav.

With manifesto wars beginning, the mood of the nation is bound to swing.

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