Congress releases poll manifesto; says BJP`s campaign "balloon" will explode again
Zee Media Bureau/Ajith Vjay Kumar and Himanshu Kapoor
New Delhi: The Congress party on Wednesday released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2014 promising inclusive growth, new right to health and policies to lift 80 crore people into the middle class, while further promising GDP growth rate of more than eight percent in the next three years.
In its manifesto, which the Congress claimed was put together after more than 30 public consultations, the party also promised to create 10 crore more jobs for the youth. The manifesto, which was released by Congress president Sonia Gandhi in presence of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and party vice-president Rahul Gandhi, said that “social-economic rights” will be put in place by the Congress party, including “right to health, right to pension, right to housing, right to social security, right to dignity and humane working conditions, and right to entrepreneurship.”
Rahul, who had expressed a personal interest in the drafting of the manifesto, said, “The manifesto we have here is truly the voice of the people of the country. Instead of having discussions behind closed doors, we asked people for their suggestions. We interacted with businessmen, women, coolies, youth to ask them what to put in the manifesto.”
With the release of the manifesto, senior Congress leaders exuded confidence that the party will return to power. While party president Sonia Gandhi termed the manifesto as a “holy document”, vice-president Rahul Gandhi said the document was the voice of the people of the country.
Warning that Narendra Modi`s ideology is damaging for the country, Congress president Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh asserted that party will fight in a determined manner the upcoming Lok Sabha polls to ensure its defeat.
Releasing the party`s manifesto `Your Voice, Our Pledge` here, they debunked the opinion polls, which predict a dismal show by the UPA, and said everybody will be "surprised" by the results.
On the upbeat campaign mounted by NDA under Modi, Rahul said, "just like the `India Shining` balloon exploded... I can say certainly the balloon will explode."
Also Read: Congress Manifesto - Full Text
The manifesto promised to bring India`s two-third population into the middle class by setting out a 15-point agenda to transform the country`s socio-economic and political condition. The Congress in its manifesto said that this will be achieved through a package of basic rights for all formal, informal, organised, regular and contractual workers.
The people targetted by the Congress party were those who are above the poverty line but below the income level of the middle class.
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the manifesto is a “forward looking document” which attempts to cover the needs of all sections of society, from farmers, the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes, women and children.
To counter opposition`s claims that his government had "policy paralysis", Singh provided statistics to counter claims and said that Congress` record is visible to anyone who cares to look at it.
The PM stated that UPA`s record is superior to that of NDA in all aspects of economic growth and development.
Calling the manifesto a “holy document” and not a vote grabbing tool for the Congress, Sonia Gandhi said the party will fight for India which belongs to all. “Will fight for an India where the only thing that matters is that we are all Indians...Fight for a country which is not for a few but is for everyone,” Sonia said.
Meanwhile, the main opposition party BJP slammed the Congress and called its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections a “document of deceit".
BJP`s leader Ravi Shankar Prasad said Congress` entire manifesto lacks seriousness and is devoid of credibility. “The manifesto is a document of deceit and an insult of the people of India, Prasad said.
Pointing at the growth rate promised by the Congress in the next three years, Prasad said there cannot be a greater fraud while the current rate with which India is growing is 4.6 percent.
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