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BJP alleges 'bluff & fraud' after Cong minimum income promise

26 March 2019

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley Monday described the poll promise of Congress President Rahul Gandhi to dole out Rs 72,000 each to poorest families every year as a "bluff announcement", saying no other political party has betrayed India for more than seven decades.

"It is on this day that the Congress Party launched its final assault on poverty".

Talking to reporters here, the BJP veteran said, "Even after giving the "Gareebi Hatao" slogan, if today you think that 20 per cent people do not even have an income of Rs 12,000, then the cross hangs on your neck for letting down poor of the country".

"The Congress has never tackled poverty during its rule".

For the first time ever, Rahul Gandhi would contest a second seat from south India apart from Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, according to NDTV. At this point, Chidambaram intervened to say the scheme would cost Rs 1.8 lakh crore a year and the party needed to be reasonable so that it could be implemented and would not be just a "jumla".

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"Voters are now well aware that in the run-up to elections, there would be lot of things and schemes announced", said Rahul Verma, a fellow at think-tank Centre for Policy Research in New Delhi. "This ground-breaking idea is the final assault on poverty", he said. "This scheme is perfectly do-able".

"If PM Modi can give money to the richest Indians, Congress can give money to the poorest of the country", he said. Minimum wages for the labour have been raised by 42 per cent. The minimum starting salary in the government after the 7th Pay Commission is Rs 18,000 a month. "A small and marginal farmer, besides home, road, toilet, electricity, cooking gas subsidies, crop insurance, MSP payment, will also get an income support", he said.

"Nehruvian model stagnated growth".

"Congress can not accept poverty in the country".

A rough calculation will reveal that 20% of the poorest Indians translate to 5 crore families and with an average of 5 members in each family, this translates to 25 crore Indians, who are living below the poverty line.

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Praveen Chakravarty, who heads the Congress' data analytics department, spoke to Nitin Sethi and Ishan Bakshi explaining the details of the scheme.

Jaitley said the Congress has given to the people many slogans but very little resources to implement its election promises. "We have been studying the scheme for four to five months".

It seems that Congress has consulted several economists and financial experts before announcing this mega-scheme of offering minimum income guarantee. "Where would the money come from?'" he said.

He clarified that the Narendra Modi-led government introduced the Direct Benefit Transfer (DBT) through the banking system. "Besides subsidies for food, fertilizer, kerosene, 55 Ministries handed over subsidies to the poor through the DBT which was enabled by Aadhaar", he said.

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BJP alleges 'bluff & fraud' after Cong minimum income promise