Will scrap Niti Ayog if voted to power: Rahul

Will scrap Niti Ayog if voted to power: Rahul

Congress President Rahul Gandhi being felicitated at Shri Ghantakarna Mahavir Devasthan, in Karnal, Friday, March 29, 2019. (PTI Photo)

Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday night said he would scrap the Niti Ayog if voted to power and bring back the old Planning Commission in a lean format.

Rahul said the Niti Ayog has served no purpose other than making marketing presentations for Prime Minister Narendra Modi and fudging data.

“If voted to power, we will scrap NITI Ayog,” Rahul said on Twitter amid allegations against Modi government of hushing up unemployment data.

“We will replace it with a lean Planning Commission whose members will be renowned economists & experts with less than 100 staff,” the Congress President said.

After being elected to power in 2014, Modi scrapped the Planning Commission that was set up by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru in 1950 to draw up five-year plans.

On January 1, 2015, the Niti Ayog came into being as a think tank or forum, in contrast with the Commission which heralded planned development in the country through five-year-plans and allocated resources to hit set economic targets.

Earlier this week, NITI Ayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar had criticised Rahul's election promise of giving Rs 72,000 per year to the poorest of the poor families under the minimum income guarantee scheme – NYAY – which will be a key assurance in the Congress manifesto.

“It’s an old pattern followed by Congress. They say and do anything to win elections,” Kumar had said drawing the ire of the Congress and other opposition parties who complained to the Election Commission alleging a violation of the Model Code of Conduct.

Though former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had also spoken of reforming the Planning Commission, Congress leaders contend that the party had never envisaged a body such as Niti Ayog.