During the run-up to the 2019 Lok Sabha elections, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had offered a ‘revolutionary’ minimum income guarantee scheme or NYAY which promised Rs 72,000 basic income for 20% of India’s population.
When people asked Rahul Gandhi how the scheme would be funded, he had said that it would be funded by the amount recovered from bank loan defaulters, which actually belongs to the depositors. Now, Congress leader and three-time MP from Kerala’s Thiruvananthapuram Shashi Tharoor, in an interview to Hindustan Times, has said that the one of the reasons NYAY did not resonate with people was that it the message may have reached only “half the electorate and perhaps even the wrong half – mainly centred in urban areas and among professional classes, who would be paying for the scheme, rather than bottom 20%, mainly rural India, who would become beneficiaries of it.” (emphasis added.)
In a way, Tharoor accepted that half the population, especially the urban and middle class, would have been paying for the free money scheme Congress had envisaged to eradicate poverty. Earlier, Congress President had categorically said how the burden of NYAY would not have fallen on the middle class as the scheme would be funded by money recovered from defaulters (which also technically belongs to people since the loan money recovered belongs to the depositors).
What Tharoor has said was already known as Congress leaders like Sam Pitroda had even tried to guilt the middle class into funding NYAY. Abhijit Banerjee, the economist who has been advising Congress in the formulation of the scheme had also stated that NYAY will have to be funded by rising inflation and new taxes.
All this while, Congress President Rahul Gandhi maintained that NYAY will not burden the middle class. Now, Tharoor, too, has called out Rahul’s lies by inadvertently saying how the burden of NYAY would have been on the urban and the professional class, had Congress managed to sail through.