Lok Sabha Elections 2024 | No common programme announced despite manifestos of I.N.D.I.A. bloc parties featuring several similarities

The issue of employment features prominently in the manifestos of several parties of the bloc.
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 17:40 IST
Last Updated : 22 April 2024, 17:40 IST

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New Delhi: The I.N.D.I.A. bloc which held its second major public meeting in Ranchi on Sunday may have shied away from announcing a common programme so far, but the manifestos released by its parties show the opposition remains largely focused on issues like unemployment, caste census and MSP.

According to sources, there were discussions among the I.N.D.I.A. bloc partners regarding releasing a set of “common guarantees” ahead of the joint public meeting in Jharkhand capital. However, no common programme was announced by the bloc, which was formed to take on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha election.

The issue of employment features prominently in the manifestos of several of these parties. The Congress has promised to fill 30 lakh vacancies in the central government and bring a Right to Apprenticeship Act.

The Trinamool Congress has promised one-year apprenticeships for youths, while Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) has promised the creation of one crore jobs in Bihar. The Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Communist Party of India (CPI) have promised the Right to Work as a Constitutional right.

Amid the opposition’s criticism of the Union government’s handling of the flagship Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), the rural employment scheme features in the manifestos of most I.N.D.I.A. bloc parties.

The Congress and the TMC are among the parties that have promised Rs 400 per day as MGNREGS wages, while the CPI promises Rs 700. The CPI(M) has promised to remove the 100 days cap, while the DMK has promised an increase in central funding for the scheme to Rs 1,50,000 crore per year. The SP and RJD manifestos are silent on it.

With farmer organisations demanding a legal guarantee for a Minimum Support Price (MSP), fixed as per the Swaminathan Committee recommendations, almost all I.N.D.I.A bloc parties have mentioned it. Congress, TMC, CPI, CPI(M), RJD, DMK, and SP have all promised implementation of the Swaminathan committee recommendations.

Caste Census remains a key promise for many opposition parties, including the Congress, RJD, SP, CPI(M), CPI, and the DMK. Trinamool Congress’ manifesto is however silent on the issue, but the party has promised a Task Force to evaluate and suggest OBC status for unrecognised communities.

Parties like RJD, CPI(M), and SP have promised the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme, while the Congress, TMC, and DMK are silent on it.

Scrapping of the Agnipath scheme is another common promise that features in the manifestos of the Congress, RJD, Trinamool Congress, SP, and CPI.

When it comes to Jammu and Kashmir, Congress, DMK, CPI(M), and CPI are among the parties that have promised restoration of statehood.

Steps to help gig workers and unorganised sectors also feature in the manifestos of several opposition parties.

Published 22 April 2024, 17:40 IST

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