Rahul gives glimpses of Congress manifesto

Congress president Rahul Gandhi. (PTI File Photo)

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has given a glimpse of the party manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections during his interactions and public meetings.

Besides the marquee minimum income guarantee initiative, increased government spending on education and healthcare have emerged as key highlights of the Congress manifesto which is being drafted by former finance minister P Chidambaram.

On Wednesday, during an interaction with students at the Stella Maris Women's College, Rahul promised that a future Congress government will also enact a law to grant 33% reservation to women in Parliament and state legislatures.

He also promised to increase government expenditure on education to 6% of the GDP by 2023-24 and set up annual goals in the first budget itself.

The big-ticket Minimum Income Guarantee (MIG) initiative was announced by Rahul at a thanksgiving rally in Chhattisgarh in late January, while he followed up with his assurance on increasing state expenditure on education a few weeks later while interacting with university students in the national capital.

On Friday, the Congress president announced that a future government headed by the party would increase expenditure on healthcare up to 3% of the GDP.

Congress has criticised the Modi government over the increasing privatisation of education and healthcare. Rahul has repeatedly accused Prime Minister Narendra Modi of helping “his industrialists friends through privatisation” of the two sectors.

“In our manifesto, we are considering three things: Including Right to Healthcare Act by which we can guarantee a certain minimum healthcare to all Indians; increasing our healthcare expenditure to 3% of the GDP and increasing the number of doctors and healthcare professionals,” Rahul said on Friday in Chhattisgarh.

Congress leaders have been insisting that the assurances made by Rahul at each of his interactions and public meetings were backed by a sound roadmap for implementation of the same.

“It is our strong belief that it is government's role to provide food, education and healthcare for its citizens and poor,” said Praveen Chakravarty, chairman of the AICC Data Analytics Department, who is also involved in the drafting of the manifesto.

Chakravarty said that the MIG will be targeted at bottom 10% families who earn less than Rs 5,000 per month as against the national average income of Rs 50,000 per month.

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Rahul gives glimpses of Congress manifesto

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