Congress chief Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that NYAY, the minimum income guarantee scheme his party has envisaged, will put the country’s economy back on track after it was allegedly hurt by the Centre’s decisions on demonetisation and GST.
Speaking in Balasore district during his final election rally in Odisha, Rahul explained how the Congress’s proposed NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) would spur economic growth and reduce unemployment. He asked the crowd why Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was doing “anyay (injustice) for which farmers in the state are getting Rs 1,200 in real prices per quintal of paddy”. He also accused Modi and Patnaik of failing to create jobs and guaranteed 22 lakh government jobs for the youth.
“I called economists and think tanks. Modi lied about Rs 15 lakh (in every bank account). I asked these people that if I give money to the poorest in India and in Odisha, how much can I pay without destroying the economy. They said I can pay Rs 72,000 anually to 5 crore poorest families or 25 crore poor people who earn less than Rs 12,000 per month,” he said, thanking Modi for opening bank accounts.
“This money will go to the poorest states like Bihar and Odisha. The men here should forgive me, but this money will go to the accounts of 5 crore poor women. Congress will do a surgical strike on poverty,” he added.
“When that money arrives, you will buy shirts, pants, toothpaste, shoes. Shopkeepers will sell more. Factories will produce more. They will employ more people. The unemployment today will be ended. NYAY has two aims — to help the poor and kickstart India’s economy,” he said. “If you put diesel in a truck, it will move. Modiji gave the diesel to Anil Ambani and is now going on turning the key and wondering why the truck does not move,” he said about the Indian economy.
At a rally in Sangamner in Maharashtra’s Ahmednagar district, Rahul pointed to the “highest” unemployment rate in the country in 45 years. Targeting Modi over demonetisation and the GST, he alleged that the purchasing power of people was affected, which led to a drop in production and resulted in unemployment. “The moment the poor will have money (through NYAY scheme), they will start purchasing, factories will start operating again and the youth will get employment again,” he said.
In Bihar’s Samastipur, where he shared the stage with RJD’s Tejashwi Yadav, Rahul asserted that the proposed minimum income programme was not populist but based on sound economics. He also promised a law to ensure farmers are not jailed for non-payment of loans.
(With PTI inputs from Maharashtra, Bihar)