Old tricks, no new hopes in Congress manifesto

Experts say that it is surprising that a party which has ruled the country for so many years has failed to mention anything on broader education system and is only wooing the minority voters by announcing schemes under the tag of ‘safeguarding minorities’.

It reads, ‘We will endeavour to pass the Prevention of Communal and Targeted Violence Bill. Like the Maulana Azad Educational Fund, a corpus will be created to promote entrepreneurship and skill development of minorities. We will enhance our focus on providing reservations for minorities in educational institutes and government jobs.’

The Congress pledged to push the economic growth rate to 8 per cent over the next three years and have decided to take firm steps to tame inflation. It also covers to provide 10 crore jobs including 800 million people in the middle-class segment.

The manifesto was made public by party president Sonia Gandhi in New Delhi in the presence of vice-president Rahul Gandhi and PM Manmohan Singh.

The manifesto, which comprised of 19 points, covers socio-economic and political transformation and gave thrust on accelerating manufacturing and industrial growth in India by enhancing the GDP to 25 per cent by 2022. It also said there will be well coordinated efforts to recover black money and increase health expenditure to 3 per cent of the GDP. The party expressed its commitment to create a national consensus on affirmative action for SCs and STs for jobs in the private sector, flexible labour laws, one-stop crises centres for women and children, women’s empowerment and children’s protection.

‘The Congress is committed to finding a way forward for introducing reservation in education and employment for economically weaker sections of all communities without in any way affecting existing reservations for Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes,’ the manifesto reads. The party also promised to encourage FDI, and push Goods and Services Tax and Direct Taxes Code within one year of coming to power for a third straight term. It also came out with an idea of ‘Aapka Paisa Aapka Haath’ platform to ensure time bound delivery of benefits and preventing corruption.

The manifesto promised to restore 8 per cent plus growth rate within 3 years in India despite difficult global economic scenario. ‘RBI must strike a balance between price stability and growth while formulating monetary policy,’ it reads.

The other major issues include welfare of students, farmers and ex-servicemen, rural development and panchayati raj, infrastructure and urban development, environment, information communication technology, separate central ministry for fishermen, right to homestead, decriminalizing consensual sexual relation, national commission for ex-servicemen, fight against corruption and governance reforms etc.
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