‘Congress workers too didn’t take NYAY seriously’
New Delhi, May 28: A publicity agency of the Congress has told party high command that even the Congress workers didn't take Nyuntam Aay Yojna (NYAY) or minimum income guarantee seriously during Lok Sabha campaigning, say sources.
On March 26, Congress president Rahul Gandhi announced that 20 per cent of the poorest families in the country would be annually given Rs. 72,000 each under the NYAY, if his party is voted to power.
While releasing the Congress manifesto, his main focus was on NYAY. He said, "Narendra Modi said he deposit Rs 15 lakh in every bank account after bringing back black money. We all know that was a lie. We didn't lie but did the groundwork and arrived at the figure of Rs 72,000 per year; Rs 3,60,000 in five years. This will go directly to their accounts. And this will help remonetize what Modi had demonetised."
The 55-page document titled 'Hum Nibhayenge' (We will Fulfil) made other appealing promises like, filling up 22 lakh government vacancies, bringing a separate budget for farmers and fixing a single moderate Good and Services Tax (GST) rate.
A source tells OneIndia that the agency has told Congress high command in plain words that had the Congress workers taken NYAY seriously, the results would have been different.
The agency is of the view that only publicity on social media and media platforms can't guarantee success. The basic ingredient for the success of any political campaign is the active participation of the party workers.
The Congress lacks dedicated workers and it's nowhere near to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which has around 11 crore active members. The other problem with the party is that everyone considers itself as a leader and not a worker.
"Though the NYAY was a lucrative offer but it lacked a blueprint. The Congress workers were directed to highlight Rs 72000 in their campaigning but they weren't trained to answer counter questions. Even senior Congress leaders gave conflicting statements," says a party insider.
"After the success of farm loan waiver promise in Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh assembly elections; Rahul Gandhi was convinced by party strategists that a populist manifesto was must for winning elections," adds the insider.
It's notable that initially Rahul was in favour of a realistic party manifesto but he changed his mind after the results of Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh wherein the Congress rode into power by ousting the BJP governments.
Angus Deaton, the British economist who won the Nobel Prize in 2015, and French economist Thomas Piketty, economist Abhijit Banerjee, and former Reserve Bank of India governor Raghuram Rajan had reportedly advised the Congress on NYAY.
While the buoyant Congress believed that the NYAY will ride it into power, the economists questioned the scheme by saying that if implemented, it would have catastrophic effects on the Indian economy.
A depressed Congress leader laments that nobody in the party had ever thought that with such a populist manifesto only eight seats will be added to the Congress' 2014 tally.
He says even in the worst scenario we were expecting that the Congress would win more than 100 seats.