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  India   Politics  06 Apr 2024  Congress etches 5 pillars of justice in its manifesto

Congress etches 5 pillars of justice in its manifesto

THE ASIAN AGE. | ASHHAR KHAN
Published : Apr 6, 2024, 2:02 am IST
Updated : Apr 6, 2024, 2:02 am IST

Kharge vows Nyay Patra with 25 guarantees will be historic

Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge during a press conference for the release of the party's manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, in New Delhi, Friday, April 5, 2024. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)
 Congress President Mallikarjun Kharge during a press conference for the release of the party's manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections, in New Delhi, Friday, April 5, 2024. (PTI Photo/Ravi Choudhary)

New Delhi: The Congress on Friday released its manifesto for the ensuing 2024 Lok Sabha elections. The manifesto, focusing on the five "pillars of justice" and the 25 guarantees under them, was released at the AICC headquarters in the presence of Congress president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Titled "Nyay Patra", the Congress party, in its manifesto, said it will implement a 10 per cent quota in jobs, educational institutions for economically weaker sections (EWS) of all castes and communities without discrimination if it comes to power.

"This manifesto will be 'nyay ka dastavez' (a document for justice) in the political history of the country. From the five pillars of the 'Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra' -- yuva (youth), kisan (farmers), naari (women), shramik (workers) and hissedari (equity), 25 guarantees will emerge...," Mr Kharge said.

The Congress manefesto also promised to fill nearly 30-lakh vacancies in sanctioned posts at various levels in the Central government and vowed that the Rajasthan model of cashless insurance of up to `25 lakhs will be adopted for universal healthcare.

The Congress manifesto promises to pass a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservations for SC, ST and OBC if it comes to power. The party said it will also conduct a nationwide socio-economic and caste census.

To empower women, the Congress said it will launch a "Mahalakshmi" scheme to provide an unconditional cash transfer of `1 lakh per year to the oldest female member of every poor family. Beneficiaries will be identified as those from the bottom level of the income pyramid.

The party said it will work to restore the status quo on the country's borders with China and "ensure areas where both armies patrolled in the past are again accessible to our soldiers".

In a move likely to resonate strongly among unemployed youth struggling with massive loan debts, the party said it will "as a one-time measure of relief" write off all student educational loans, including unpaid interest. Banks will be compensated by the government, the Congress said, adding that it guarantees a new "right to apprenticeship act" to provide a one-year apprenticeship to every diploma holder or graduate below the age of 25.

The party manifesto also talks about amending laws to "combine the efficiency of EVM and the transparency of ballot papers".

"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 party said.

The Congress said it will give a legal guarantee to the minimum support prices (MSP) announced by the government every year as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission.

“We will immediately restore full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir," the party stated in the manifesto.

The Congress' Nyay Patra said it will launch an urban employment programme guaranteeing work for the urban poor in reconstruction and renewal of urban infrastructure.

The party said in the document that it will abolish the Agnipath programme and direct the armed forces to resume normal recruitment to achieve full sanctioned strength.

Speaking at the Congress manifesto launch programme, Mr Gandhi said that the general election is a much closer contest than propagated by the media and expressed confidence about winning the polls. He said the Lok Sabha polls are a contest between forces who are trying to destroy the Constitution and democracy and those protecting them.

Responding to a question after the release of the party manifesto, Mr Gandhi likened the BJP's ongoing Lok Sabha campaign with its "India Shining" campaign in 2004.

“Do remember who won that campaign," he said, referring to the BJP-led NDA's aggressive India Shining campaign ahead of the Lok Sabha polls in 2004.

Mr Gandhi also said the INDIA bloc has decided that it is fighting an ideological election and that a decision on the Prime Minister candidate will be taken after the polls.

Tags: mallikarjun kharge, indian national congress, lok sabha elections 2024
Location: India, Delhi