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Income promise a surgical strike on poverty: Gandhi

March 27, 2019

Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi has called his party's election promise of minimum income guarantee a surgical strike on poverty. The strike he says will ensure there is no poverty in India after 2019.

Gandhi also attacked the Modi government at a rally in Ganganagar, Rajasthan, saying that the current government had brought people who were lifted out of the poverty line back below the line.

It will set off a bomb. This is the Congress's surgical strike on poverty. They (the BJP) tried to eliminate the poor. We will eliminate poverty. The fact that 25 crore people are living in poverty in the 21st century India is a shame. - Rahul Gandhi, President, Congress Party

On Monday, Gandhi said that if his party came back to power, it would guarantee na income of at least Rs 12,000 a month for 20% of India's poorest families by giving them Rs 6,000 a month. Called Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), meaning justice, the scheme plans to cover five crore families.

The scheme, if implemented, is expected to cost Rs 3.6 lakh crore, around 2% of India's GDP. "If Narendra Modi can give money to the rich, the Congress will give money to the poor, said Gandhi, who said PM Modi is a chowkidar who "serves rich people like Anil Ambani instead of the poor.

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called the announcement a bluff and said that what the Congress has promised is just around two-thirds of what the NDA gives the poor.

Meanwhile BJP leader Shatrughan Sinha has attacked his party and praised Gandhi's announcement of the scheme. In a tweet, he said, "It's a masterstroke by the 'master of situation', @RahulGandhi - declaring #MinimumIncomeGuarantee scheme. It has rattled our people so much that some of our prominent people had to rush for a press conference, calling the whole declaration/ announcement "chhalkapat.

Sinha has been widely expected to walk out of the party to align with the joint opposition camp led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal in Bihar.

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