New Delhi: The Congress president, Rahul Gandhi, on Sunday, announced a yearly minimum income guarantee of ₹72,000 to 20 per cent of India’s poorest families, if his party is voted to power. This is in line with what Gandhi had promised in Raipur this January and political pundits have anticipated this coming for a while now.
The Nyuntam Aay Yojana, which translates into minimum income guarantee scheme would lift five crore families or 25 crore people out of poverty, Gandhi said. He said this would be the “final assault” on poverty in the country.
This is seen as a counter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi-led BJP government’s February announcement of ₹6,000 minimum income to farmers – Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi scheme. The prime minister’s announcement, in Gorakhpur, was seen as a response to the Congress’s successful poll promise of farm-loan waiver in last year’s assembly elections, where the Congress wrested three states – Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh – from the Bharatiya Janata Party in the Hindi heartland.
The ruling BJP, however, has slammed and ridiculed the Congress’s scheme. The Union finance minister, Arun Jaitley, called it a “bluff”. He said, “The Congress has historically believed in political transactions in the name of removing poverty.”