New Delhi: The Congress on Tuesday released the manifesto for the 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
The manifesto was released in the presence of Congress President Rahul Gandhi, UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other party leaders.
Speaking at the event, P. Chidambaram, who chaired the Congress Manifesto Committee, said the manifesto "addresses the interests of farmers, industry, Dalits, minorities, workers, women".
The Lok Sabha elections will be held in seven phases between April 11 and May 19.
"When we started this process about a year back, I spoke to Mr Chidamabaram, Mr Gowda and gave two instructions. I said this is not a manifesto to be made in closed rooms but this should reflect the wishes of the people of India. I also said that whatever is going to be in this manifesto has to be truthful, I do not want a single thing in this manifesto that is a lie because we have been hearing large number of lies spoken everyday by our PM. "
"The PM had spoken about MGNREGA. He mocked and said it is a bogus and useless scheme. Today everyone knows how much it helped the country. So now we want to guarantee jobs for 150 days, instead of 100 days, under the scheme."
"There are 5 main themes in the Congress manifesto, first among them is minimum income scheme NYAY under which Rs 72,000 will be given to poorest. Jobs and farmer distress are key issues, there are 22 lakh government jobs lying vacant which we will fill up by March 2020."
ON being asked about contesting from Wayanad, Rahul said, "South India feels hostility from Narendra Modi; I wanted to send a message, 'I am standing with you'."
He also said the Congress proposes to have a separate 'kisan budget' and make non-payment of loans by farmers a civil offence instead of criminal one.
He said the Congress will allocate 6 per cent of GDP to education, will strengthen govt hospitals and give high-quality healthcare access to poor.
The Congress president said that in the last 5 years, the BJP govt has spread hate, divisiveness and the Cong will work towards uniting India, bringing people together.
He also challenged the PM to a debate saying, "PM Narendra Modi is scared, I challenge him to debate on issues such as corruption and national security," Rahul said.