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All freebies, zero wealth creation: How Congress party’s 5 Nyay ‘manifesto’ reads like a toolkit to bankrupt India

Congress party's purported 'manifesto' for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, encapsulated in its Five Nyay Pillars, reveals a concerning emphasis on freebies without any tangible plan for wealth creation.

On Tuesday (19th March), the Congress party declared from its X handle that its working committee is finally holding some concrete discussions about the ‘manifesto’ for the upcoming 2024 Lok Sabha elections. While the party is yet to give a detailed version of what it aims to offer to the people of India if voted to power, it shared a document mentioning what kind of ‘Nyay’ it is going to deliver to the people if it sweeps the elections being held just after the Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra by Congress Scion Rahul Gandhi. For all practical purposes, what Congress aims to offer in its manifesto is a pan-India version of its freebies model in Karnataka. While thumping its chest with a claim of providing Nyay in 5 different sectors, Congress is not bringing any means of wealth creation to the table.

What is there in this purported ‘manifesto’?

The Congress party wrote in its post, “The Congress Working Committee (CWC) today extensively discussed the Congress Manifesto for 2024 elections. Since 1926, the Congress Party’s Manifesto has stood as a testament to trust and commitment. Our Five Nyay Pillars: Yuva Nyay, Naari Nyay, Kisan Nyay, Shramik Nyay, Hissedari Nyay.”

It added, “The nation resoundingly calls for change. It is incumbent upon us all to ensure that our Manifesto receives widespread exposure in every state, carrying our commitment to every household across the nation. Jai Hind. Jai Congress.”

Will Yuva get any Nyay from Congress?

As Rahul Gandhi has renamed his Bharat Jodo Yatra to Bharat Jodo Nyay Yatra, the Congress has taken a stance of delivering Nyay to every section of society. In its Yuva Nyay section, the Congress party is thinking of coming up with luring promises for the youth like 30 lakh new central government jobs, according to a jobs calendar, a one-year apprenticeship for all educated youth, at Rs. 1 lakh/year (Rs. 8,500/month), law to completely end all paper leaks, Better working conditions & social security for gig workers, and Rs. 5,000 crore start-up fund for youth.

India is a vibrant demography with more than 40 per cent of its population being in the age group of 15 to 40. This is the most productive age group and India boasts the maximum number of people in this age group. Looking at the aspirations and modern-day challenges, these promises of Congress party seem outdated. Promising 30 lakh jobs by the central government at a time when the private sector is growing every day is a signal of financial harakiri of the worst kind. Rather than improving the productivity of the government departments – like what the Modi government is doing – the Congress came up with a promise of absorbing 3 million youths in the same government system which was infamously bashed for its inefficiency, corruption, and overheads in the years of Congress regime. This seems nothing but a bait for the youth to simply sit and eat if the Congress comes back to power with its same old working culture.

A separate fund of Rs 5000 Cr in a start-up economy like India is something next level. India already has more than one hundred unicorns and what start-ups need from the government is not funds but an ecosystem which the Modi government has very effectively managed to provide in the last 2 tenures. Be it tax simplification for initial years, be it Mudra loans, or be it a Start-up India initiative, much more than the Rs 5000 crores promised by Congress is already happening on the ground in India. Considering past corruption records of the party, it is most likely that if Congress comes to power, these Rs 5000 crores will land in the cupboards of some Hemant Soren and it will take yet another Modi to unearth it. Congress has additionally talked about Rs 8500 per month to graduates – another freebie scheme.

Is fulfilling the Congress version of Naari Nyay practically possible?

In the Naari Nyay section, Congress looks forward to promising Rs 1 lakh/year, for one woman in every poor family, 50% women’s reservation in new central govt jobs, double salary contribution of the centre for all ASHA, Anganwadi, and Mid-Day Meal workers, Adhikar Maitri in every village, to ensure women get their legal rights, and double number of hostels for working women.

While Congress has declared its intent to spend a huge amount of money on these things, there is nothing in the document, that explains from where this huge money will come to the exchequer. While up to Rs 3000 guaranteed per month to the ladies from poor families by various BJP-ruled states is already a reality, showing them false dreams of Rs 8500 per month is dangerous.

Most of the household needs of the women from the poor class are mitigated in the range offered by the BJP government which is Rs 1500 to 3000 per month, as in most cases, there are other working hands and earning sources in the families including these women. The support extended by the BJP government is just enough to inspire them to push more efforts in day-to-day productivity ensuring vertical growth at grassroots levels. On the other hand, Congress’ Rs 1 lakh per year will only add to inflations in rural circuits causing more troubles to poor, in absence of any visionary plan to create new wealth in the country.

What Nyay Congress is offering to a Shramik?

For Shramik, Congress is thinking to give another set of financial reliefs and relaxations. The documents says that the manifesto of Congress will promise right to health, law that provides universal healthcare, including free essential diagnostics, medicines, treatment, surgery, and rehabilitative and palliative care, National minimum wage of Rs 400/day, including all MGNREGS workers, Employment guarantee act for urban areas, Life insurance and accident insurance for unorganised workers, and prohibitting contractualisation of employment in core government functions.

An ideal ‘manifesto’ for Congress would aim to beat the existing schemes implemented on the ground by the BJP government. But Congress has failed to even take cognizance of that. For unorganised labourers, the Modi government already has Shamev Jayate scheme. For life insurance of every poor including daily wages workers, there is a Pradhan Mantri Jeevan Beema Yojana. Besides, most of the medical issues Congress is assuring to address are already covered in the Ayushman Bharat scheme of the Modi government.

Congress also aims to offer some Nyay to farmers as well

For Farmers, Congress said in its X post that it would ensure that they get MSP legal guarantee as per the Swaminathan formula, standing Loan waiver Commission for farmers, guaranteed insurance payment within 30 days of crop loss, and stable import-export policy to benefit farmers. In this case too, the Congress has forgotten that there are already multiple schemes delivering the promises. While the Modi government is working to increase the farmer’s income through various measures, the Congress is focussing on another freebie scheme of loan waivers. As far as crop insurance is concerned, the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Beema Yojana is already having impressive efficiency and penetration in rural areas.

Divide the society on caste lines and call it Hissedari Nyay?

In its fifth Nyay, the Congress talks about social, economic, and caste census, removing cap of 50% on SC/ST/OBC reservation through a Constitutional Amendment, special budget for SC/ST, equal to their share of population, settling Forest Rights Act claims in 1 year, and notifying all habitations where STs are the most populous group as Scheduled Areas.

There could not be any better plan to widen the societal rifts. With its age-old expertise to talk different groups of people in diffrent voices, the Congress has mastered the art of breaking India. The last Nyay offered by the grand old party is an example of the same. While the Congress talks about Bharat Jodo that is Uniting India, what it actually does is dividing India. Overstepping constitutional limits of reservation at the expense of causing damage to the interests of the people from the unreserved categories, and pampering OBC aspirirations by promising caste census without any concrete plan of development and representation are other tools Congress is using to divide the grand Hindu Dharmik fold into small segments easy to manage, manipulate, and gain from.

As if there was a less problem of extra-constitutionaly identifying certain areas as Muslim areas, the Congress has now come up with a promise to constitutionally identify certain areas as scheduled areas. This will further foster insecurity, enmity, and divides in the various sections of the society,

Conclusion

In conclusion, the Congress party’s purported ‘manifesto’ for the 2024 Lok Sabha elections, encapsulated in its Five Nyay Pillars, reveals a concerning emphasis on freebies without any tangible plan for wealth creation. Despite promising sectors like Yuva Nyay, Naari Nyay, Kisan Nyay, Shramik Nyay, and Hissedari Nyay, the absence of strategies for economic growth raises doubts about the sustainability of these proposals. Rather than fostering prosperity, the purported base document of the ‘manifesto’ risks driving India towards bankruptcy with its reliance on populist measures.

Notably, Congress has all the plans to offer multiple freebies to various sections of the society, but it has not mentioned where and how it is going to create wealth for this country. It has not specified what groundbreaking infrastructure it is aiming to build to give a boost to the economy. In an attempt to present a new edition of the freebies it offered in Karnataka’s assembly elections in 2023, the Congress party has ended up envisioning a ‘manifesto’ to bankrupt India.

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