New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday released its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections with its president Rahul Gandhi describing it as the 'Voice of the People' and is not just one man's view.
Rahul was joined by several top leaders of the party including former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and P Chidambaram as the party launched its manifesto at the party's Akbar Road headquarters.
Here are the top 15 points from Congress' election manifesto launch:
- When we started this process about a year back, I spoke to P Chidambaram, Rajeev Gowda and gave two instructions. I said this is not a manifesto to be made in closed rooms but this should reflect the wishes of the people of India. I also said that whatever is going to be in this manifesto has to be truthful, I do not want a single thing in this manifesto that is a lie because we have been hearing a large number of lies spoken every day by our PM: Rahul Gandhi
- Congress has offered to people the only national alternative -- a distinct alternative that is unwavering in its commitment to truth, freedom, dignity, self-respect and prosperity for our people: Rahul Gandhi
- PM had spoken about MGNREGA. He mocked and said it is a bogus and useless scheme. Today everyone knows how much it helped the country. So now we want to guarantee jobs for 150 days, instead of 100 days, under the scheme: Rahul
- Five main themes in Congress manifesto, first among them is minimum income scheme NYAY under which Rs 72,000 will be given to poorest.
- Congress, if voted to power, will make jobs its top priority. It will ensure 34 lakh jobs in the public sector by filling all 4 lakh central government vacancies before March 2020, persuading the state governments to fill 20 lakh vacancies and creating an estimated 10 lakh new Seva Mitra positions in every gram panchayat and urban local bodies.
- Jobs and farmer distress are key issues. 22 lakh government jobs lying vacant which we will fill up by March 2020.
- Congress will also provide a fillip to private sector by incentivising businesses for jobs creation and employing more women.
- Congress proposes to have separate 'Kisan budget' and make non-payment of loans by farmers civil offence instead of criminal one. When farmers take bank loans and when they are not able to return its called criminal offence. We have decided if farmers are not able to repay it should not be a criminal offence but a civil offence.
- Congress will allocate 6 per cent of GDP to education, strengthen government hospitals and give high-quality healthcare access to poor if voted to power.
- Congress said it will radically simplify the GST regime with a single moderate rate of tax, zero-rating of exports, and exemption for essential goods and services. Five different taxes will be scrapped and a simple tax system will be brought in.
- We will expedite all modernisation programmes of the Armed Forces in a transparent manner. We will improve social security, education and health facilities for our Paramilitary Forces and families.
- Congress will reverse the trend of declining defence spending under the NDA government, and increase it to meet the requirements of the Armed Forces.
- Congress will also reserve 33 per cent of all posts/vacancies in the Central government for women.
- The party promises to pass in the first session of the 17th Lok Sabha the Women's Reservation Bill reserving 33 per cent of seats for women in the Lok Sabha and the State Legislative Assemblies.
- School education from Class I to Class XII in public schools shall be compulsory and free.