The leader of the main opposition party Congress , Rahul Gandhi has pledged to guarantee a minimum income for poor in India if his party win back the power in May 2019 general elections. He said his government will provide the minimum income to the poor families to lift them out of poverty.
He made this pledge on twitter and said “We cannot build a new India while millions of our brothers & sisters suffer the scourge of poverty. If voted to power in 2019, the Congress is committed to a Minimum Income Guarantee for every poor person, to help eradicate poverty & hunger. This is our vision & our promise,” he said.
The opposition leader did not provided further details of his plan. It seems that Congress party wants to introduce this on the lines of Universal Basic Income (UBI) which is getting popularity in many countries. UBI – supported by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg among others as a way to reduce inequality, involves people being given a flat lump sum by the state instead of subsidies and social security payments.
The several governments have already experimented on this idea including Kenya and Finland. The new populist government in Italy headed by Five Star Movement has also promised to provide the UBI. So Rahul Gandhi joined this exclusive club of leaders and parties that are supporting this plan and idea.
This pledge came after Prime Minister Modi reserved 10 percent quota in the jobs for poor upper caste families’ couple of weeks ago. The Modi government will present its final budget on February 01 before the May general elections. The Modi government expected to include sweeteners to voters, including to farmers who have been hit hard by falling prices for their produce and unpredictable weather, with thousands killing themselves in recent years.
Rahul Gandhi, the scion of Nehru-Gandhi dynasty will challenge the PM Modi in the upcoming election. Rahul Gandhi is looking to defeat the ruling alliance led by BJP. The poverty is a big issue in India where majority of its 1.25 billion people lives in abject poverty. The Modi led BJP came to power on the promises of reducing poverty and unemployment. But Modi government failed to address both issues.
It is difficult to predict the winner of May general elections at the moment. But Congress has built some momentum to pose serious challenge to Modi led BJP. Both sides are now trying to attract the voters through promises and pledges to help them. BJP is trying to win back the rural voters who are not happy with the government. The rural voters played key role in the election victory of Modi led BJP in the last general elections.
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17 November, 2019