In a major announcement with an eye on upcoming Lok Sabha elections, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday promised that his party would ensure “minimum income guarantee” for every poor person if it comes to power at the Centre.
In his “thanksgiving” rally for farmers at Atal Nagar in Raipur, Rahul expressed gratitude to Chhattisgarh’s people, particularly farmers, for voting the party to power in the state after 15 years.
“The Congress-led government is going to give minimum income guarantee. This means, every poor person in India will have a minimum income. This means there will be no hungry, poor people in India,” Rahul said, echoing the ‘Garibi Hatao’ (Remove Poverty) slogan coined by his grandmother Indira Gandhi during the 1971 general elections that she won.
He said the first phase of the “historic decision” will be implemented in the Congress-led states of Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
“The Congress governments have delivered what they promised and do not depend on alluring assurances,” he said, targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Rahul said the Modi government was dividing the country into two parts. “One led by industrialists whose loans of over Rs 3 lakh crore have been waived off... The Rafale deal will benefit Anil Ambani, Mehul Choksi, Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. But when the issue of farm loan waiver comes up, all BJP-led governments and the Centre say there are no funds.”
“The other India is of the poor, weak, farmers and the youth. Industrialists will move around in aircraft spending public money, while this part of the country will get to hear only Mann ki Baat,” he said, referring to the prime minister’s monthly radio address.
The Congress chief also promised farmers that Chhattisgarh will be known as the ‘rice bowl’ of the world, with the government preparing a series of food processing chains to ensure that even the vegetables and foodgrain of the state reach the dining tables of people in foreign countries.
Referring to Congress’ promise of loan waiver which was implemented after the party came to power in Chhattisgarh, Rahul said, “The work that the BJP government could not do in 15 years, we did in months. The doors of all Congress chief ministers will remain open to all farmers all the time.”
Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, addressing the gathering in local language Chhattisgarhi, dubbed the BJP government “thieves” and thanked the farmers for bringing the Congress to power with three-fourth majority.