Rahul sounds the Poll Bugle

Congress president Rahul Gandhi promised to implement nationwide minimum income for the poor if voted to power in May, in what was seen as the latest populist gambit to woo voters after the party swept to power in three states largely on the back of a promise for farm loan waiver.

“It’s going to be historic. Congress has decided to provide a guaranteed minimum income to the poor in all states. The poor will get a minimum income directly in their bank accounts. This scheme will be the first of its kind in the world as no other country has come up with such a decision so far,” he said at a farmers’ rally to mark the implementation of the loan waiver promise which helped Congress defeat BJP in Chhattisgarh.

“Nobody will remain hungry and nobody will remain poor as all poor people will be entitled to a guaranteed income. We will do this in Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and all other states as well. All you have to do is to give us an opportunity,” Rahul said. The Congress chief, however, did not disclose details of the scheme.

Rahul’s announcement was followed by former FM P Chidambaram’s comment that party president’s promise was feasible and resources could be found for the plan: something which pointed to consultations on the issue among the party brass. Rahul’s promise comes against the backdrop of speculation that the Modi government could roll out universal basic income scheme in Friday’s interim budget to calm angry farmers in the lead up to the elections.

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