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Congress Manifesto Pledges Caste Census, Cash Transfers &..!

The Congress on Friday released its manifesto or ‘Nyay Patra’ for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections at the AICC headquarters in New Delhi. Top leaders of the Congress, including party chief Mallikarjun Kharge and former party presidents Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi, released the poll manifesto, days before the general elections.

In its manifesto, the Congress laid emphasis on Paanch Nyay or or ‘five pillars of justice’, including ‘Yuva Nyay’, ‘Naari Nyay’, ‘Kisaan Nyay’, ‘Shramik Nyay’ and ‘Hissedari Nyay’ as well as the guarantees made by it to the people as part of its election promises for Lok Sabha polls.

Key promises from Congress manifesto ‘Nyay Patra’:

  • The Congress said it will fill nearly 30 lakh vacancies in sanctioned posts at various levels in central government.
  • The Congress guarantees national minimum wage at ₹400 per day.
  • The Rajasthan model of cashless insurance of up to ₹25 lakh will be adopted for universal healthcare.
  • The Congress will give legal guarantees to MSP announced by the government every year as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission.
  • The Congress will ensure that, like every citizen, minorities have the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws. We will encourage reform of personal laws. Such reform must be undertaken with the participation and consent of the communities concerned.
  • The Congress said it will conduct a nationwide socio-economic and caste Census to enumerate the castes and sub-castes and their socio-economic conditions and it will pass a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservations for SC, ST and OBC.
  • “We will abolish application fees for government examinations and government posts. Due to widespread unemployment, as a one-time measure of relief, the amount due including unpaid interest as on 15 March 2024 in respect of all student educational loans will be written off and the banks will be compensated by the government,” said the Congress in the manifesto.
  • After wide consultation, the Congress will bring a law to recognise civil unions between couples belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community.
  • The central government’s contribution to pensions for senior citizens, widows and persons with disabilities under the National Social Assistance Programme remains a pitiful ₹200- ₹500 per month. The Congress will raise this amount to ₹1,000 per month, said the party.
  • “We will reserve one-half (50 per cent) of central government jobs for women starting in 2025,” the Congress.
  • The Congress will enact a separate legislation for the registration of sports federations/bodies/associations which will ensure full compliance with the Olympic Charter, allow for autonomy and full accountability, and provide recourse for members and sportspersons against discrimination, bias, sexual harassment, abuse, wrongful termination, etc. Congress will provide sports scholarships of ₹10,000 per month to talented and budding sports persons below the age of 21.
  • The Congress resolves to launch Mahalakshmi scheme to provide ₹1 lakh per year to every poor Indian family as an unconditional cash transfer. The poor will be identified among the families in the bottom of the income pyramid.
  • “We will amend the election laws to combine the efficiency of the electronic voting machine (EVM) and the transparency of the ballot paper. Voting will be through the EVM but the voter will be able to hold and deposit the machine-generated voting slip into the voter-verifiable paper audit trail (VVPAT) unit. The electronic vote tally will be matched against the VVPAT slip tally,” said the Congress
  • “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… We promise to amend the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution and make defection (leaving the original party on which the MLA or MP was elected) an automatic disqualification of the membership in the Assembly or Parliament,” said the Congress.
  • The Congress said it will amend the Press Council of India Act, 1978 to empower the Council to deal with the menace of fake news and paid news.
  • The Congress is committed to rapid growth and generation of wealth. We have set a target of doubling the GDP in the next 10 years.
  • The Congress will replace the GST laws enacted by the BJP/NDA government with GST 2.0. The new GST regime will be based on the universally accepted principle that GST shall be a single, moderate rate (with a few exceptions) that will not burden the poor.
  • The Congress said it will repair relations with the Maldives and will work to restore the status quo ante on our borders with China and to ensure that areas, where both armies patrolled in the past, are again accessible to our soldiers. We will take the necessary steps to adjust our policy towards China until this is achieved.

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(Source: HT)

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