The Indian National Congress on Friday launched its manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections at the All India Congress Committee headquarters in Delhi.

Congress Manifesto Lok Sabha 2024
Congress leaders P Chidambaram, Sonia Gandhi, Mallikarjun Kharge, Rahul Gandhi, and KC Venugopal released the manifesto in Delhi on Friday, 5 April. (Photo: X/Mallikarjun Kharge @kharge)

The manifesto was released in the presence of Party President Mallikarjun Kharge and senior party leaders Sonia Gandhi, Rahul Gandhi, KC Venugopal, and P Chidambaram. Kharge said his party’s manifesto is based on Paanch Nyay or five pillars of justice including youth, women, farmers, and labourers ensuring a nationwide caste census, legal guarantee for MSP, and to defend the constitution by “saving democracy.”

The 48-page document, titled “Nyay Patra”, promises a guarantee of national minimum wage at 400 per day, one lakh rupees per year to every poor family, reservation of 50 per cent seats for women in central government jobs, legal guarantee for Minimum Support Prices and national caste census.

The Congress promised development of infrastructure and elimination of poverty by improving the fortunes of 23 crore people over the next decade. The party has also promised abolition of application fees for government jobs, cashless health insurance up to 25 lakh rupees for universal healthcare and filling up around 30 lakh vacancies in sanctioned posts in the central government. The poll document also talks about carrying out investigations into the Electoral Bonds scheme.

A key section of the manifesto has been devoted to “defending the Constitution.” Under this section, the party has promised “Saving Democracy, Removing Fear, Restoring Freedom”.

“We promise not to interfere with personal choices of food and dress, to love and marry, and to travel and reside in any part of India. All laws and rules that interfere unreasonably with personal freedoms will be repealed,” the document said.

The promises also include amending the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution to make defection (from the original party on which MP or MLA was elected) an automatic disqualification from assembly or parliament.

It has also promised to not bring the one nation one election, ensure voter is able to match their EVM votes with VVPATs and electronic vote tally will be matched against the VVPAT slip tally.

Along with promising to ensure the independence of agencies, it has also “promised to put an end to the weaponisation of laws, arbitrary searches, seizures and attachments, arbitrary and indiscriminate arrests, third-degree methods, prolonged custody, custodial deaths, and bulldozer justice.”

Addressing the manifesto launch event, senior Congress leader and former Union minister P Chidambaram, and Chairman of the Manifesto Committee, said that the broad theme of the manifesto is justice. “Every aspect of justice has been threatened, weakened in the last 10 years, especially in the last five years,” he said.

“I have always accused the BJP Govt and said that Modi Govt is the government of the rich, by the rich and for the rich. This Govt is driven only by the interests of the top 1% of this country but we have to look at the bottom 50%. The bottom 50% is as important as those who are well off. It has been estimated that 23 crore people are still poor in this country,” Chidambaram added.

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The manifesto launch came just two weeks before the first phase of the Lok Sabha elections would begin. Some of the other top promises made by the Congress include:

The party manifesto outlines the Mahalakshmi scheme, which aims to provide an unconditional cash transfer of Rs 1 lakh per year to impoverished Indian families identified at the bottom of the income pyramid;

“Congress will ensure that, like every citizen, minorities have the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws. We will encourage the reform of personal laws. Such reform must be undertaken with the participation and consent of the communities concerned,” the manifesto added;

Congress promises to eliminate application fees for government examinations and posts and provide one-time relief by writing off unpaid student educational loans as of March 15, 2024, compensating banks accordingly;

In the area of national security, Congress vows to discontinue the Agnipath Scheme implemented by the Modi government and revert to traditional recruitment processes in the Army, Navy, and Air Force to ensure economic and social security for soldiers;

“The party manifesto condemns extra-judicial measures like mob lynching, police encounter killings, and “bulldozer justice” and pledges to halt these practices immediately, ensuring perpetrators are brought to justice in accordance with the law;

Congress aims to transform India into a manufacturing hub by increasing the manufacturing sector’s share of GDP from 14 percent to 20 percent over the next five years.

Mokokchung Times






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