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'Bluff announcement': Arun Jaitley slams Rahul's promise of Rs 72,000 per year to 5 crore poor families

Jaitley Said No Political Party Has Betrayed India For More Than Seven Decades Other Than The Congress.

News Nation Bureau | Edited By : Abhinav Gupta | Updated on: 25 Mar 2019, 11:57:30 PM
Arun Jaitley slams Rahul Gandhi's income guarantee promise

New Delhi:

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday ripped apart Congress chief Rahul Gandhi's promise of minimum income of 72,000 annually to 20 per cent families in poorest of the poor category as the biggest bluff.

Referring to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's 'Garibi Hatao' slogan, Jaitley said that the Congress party has a "history of making bluff announcements" and that no political party has betrayed India for more than seven decades other than the grand old party.

Jaitley added up the expenditure incurred by the government on the ongoing welfare schemes to argue that the Narendra Modi government’s welfare benefits to people averaged Rs 1,06,800 annually, as against the Rs 72,000 that the Congress seeks to promise.

"Today, the Congress President has announced that those whose income is below Rs.12,000/- per month, would be given a subsidy to ‘attain’ that income subject to Rs.6,000/- per month. This announcement is an admission of the fact that neither Indiraji nor her son and certainly not the UPA Government controlled by her descendants, was able to remove poverty," he wrote in his blog titled "Is Prime Minister Narendra Modi Already Giving to Poor Much More Than What the Congress Promises?"

He further said: “The latest announcement of the Congress Party if tested on simple arithmetic then Rs 72,000 is less than 2/3rd of the existing DBT under Modi government, which averages Rs 1.068 lakh annually. So what is being claimed by the Congress Party – A bluff announcement.”

Referring to former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi’s ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan in 1971, the finance minister said that her economics was not about increasing production and generating wealth, but only about redistribution of poverty.

“She (Indira Gandhi) supplemented her 1971 slogan while promising in election after election, the welfare of the largest number. Shri Rajiv Gandhi had a historic opportunity to remove poverty. Initially, he showed a desire to do so. But his Government got caught in unsavoury controversies preventing any significant and major changes. In 1971, ‘Garibi Hatao’ slogan was given by Indiraji. For two-third of the last 48 years her party has been in power. Yet, they left behind a legacy of poverty,” Jaitley said.

Hitting back at Jaitley, Congress spokesperson Randeep Surjewala said it is "shameful" are opposing the scheme.

"Modiji & @arunjaitley have happily waived off ₹3.17 Lakh Cr for a handful of corny friends! Shameful that they oppose World’s Biggest Anti-Poverty Scheme- #NyayForIndia meant for 20% of India i.e 5 Cr families. “Suited-Booted” BJP has always treated India’s poor with disdain!" he tweeted. 

Senior Congress leader Ahmed Patel said his party was not surprised that the BJP is opposing the scheme as they are "fundamentally against policies which benefit the marginalised and poor".

Meanwhile, Niti Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar said Rahul Gandhi's promise of providing Rs 72,000 annually to five crore families will create strong incentives against work and bust fiscal discipline.

"True to its past record of promising the moon to win elections, Congress President announces a scheme that will bust fiscal discipline, create strong incentives against work and which will never be implemented," Kumar said in a tweet.       

Kumar also said the Congress party had promised 'Garibi Hatao' in 1971, 'One Rank One Pension' in 2008, food security in 2013 to win elections, but could not fulfil any of those.

The "same unfortunate fate" awaits the populist and opportunistic promise of minimum income guarantee, he added.

Earlier in the day, Rahul announced that if Congress is voted to power then 20 per cent families in poorest of the poor category will be given Rs 72,000 each annually as a minimum income.

Making the announcement at a press conference, Rahul said, "The time for change has come". Five crore families and 25 crore people will directly benefit from the scheme, he claimed, terming it is a "final assault" to eradicate poverty in the country.

"The final assault on poverty has begun. We will wipe out poverty from the country," he said.

"I promise that there will be justice for the poor. The Congress guarantees that 20 per cent families belonging to poorest of the poor category in India will be given Rs 72,000 each annually," he said.

The Congress chief termed it a "historic day", saying the Congress had launched its final assault on poverty on the day.

"5 crore of the poorest families in India, will receive Rs 72,000 Per Year. #NyayForIndia is our dream and our pledge. The time for change has come," he later said on Twitter.

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First Published : 25 Mar 2019, 07:34:33 PM