Proposed minimum income guarantee will benefit 2 crore poor
The Congress in Maharashtra Tuesday said the minimum income guarantee proposed by party president Rahul Gandhi will directly benefit at least two crore poor people in the state. Addressing a rally in Chhattisgarh Monday, Gandhi had announced that his party would ensure "minimum income guarantee" for every poor person in the country if it is voted to power in the coming Lok Sabha polls.
Maharashtra Congress unit president Ashok Chavan Tuesday hailed the promised measure as "historic and revolutionary". "The Congress had enacted the MNREGA scheme which gave employment guarantee to poor people in rural areas. Congress never indulged in 'jumlas' (false promises). The party has always acted on its poll promises," he said while pointing out the case of Rajasthan, Chhatisgarh and Madhya Pradesh where the grand old party implemented its poll promise of a farm loan waiver, immediately after assuming office in December last.
Chavan, a former chief minister of Maharashtra, also claimed that 14 crore people came out of the Below Poverty Line (BPL) category under the previous rule of the UPA government. "As per the state Economic Survey, two crore people are classified under the BPL category in Maharashtra. These people will directly benefit from the minimum income guarantee," he added.
Chavan also alleged that the BJP-led state government has failed to fully implement the promised crop loan waiver. He also took a dig at Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis over approval of the Central grant for tackling drought in the state.
The Centre has approved Rs 4714 crore for drought mitigation. "Fadnavis is still perusing the Rs 7000 crore drought assistance (being sought) from the Centre. It is only now that the Union government has assured assistance in two to three phases for the purpose," Chavan said.
Meanwhile, leaders of the Congress and the NCP met Bharipa Bahujan Mahasangh leader Prakash Ambedkar at his residence here Tuesday. The Congress and the NCP are trying to woo Ambedkar into their alliance for the coming Lok Sabha polls, but has set a pre-condition that he should sever his ties with Asaduddin Owaisi-led AIMIM.
However, the talks are stuck over the number of seats to be allocated to the outfit of the Dalit leader who wields influence in pockets of Vidarbha in east Maharashtra. When asked about what transpired at the meeting, Chavan only said, "Our talks are still on. There is no question of aligning with AIMIM," he said.
Leader of Opposition in the Legislative Assembly Radhakrishna Vikhe Patil and Mumbai Congress president Sanjay Nirupam were also present at the press conference. Meanwhile, Nirupam has hailed the proposed "minimum income guarantee" as a "game-changer" idea, which he said would help eradicate poverty.
"This is avery novel idea to remove poverty and ensure that each and every Indian gets minimum income. While the Modi government is spending money on publicity and the Prime Minister's foreign tours, the Congress is planning ways to ensure minimum income for each and every Indian so that no one goes hungry in this country," he told PTI..
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