Is Rahul Gandhi killing NYAY before its birth?
New Delhi, March 30: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has started giving interviews to media organisations in a bid to push Congress ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections
However, a deep analysis of his interviews portends that they may prove counterproductive.
For example, in his interview to Hindi daily Amar Ujala, Gandhi says that the idea of the Nyuntam Aay Yojna (NYAY), or Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme, came from Prime Minister Narendra Modi's Rs. 15 lakh promise made ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.
"His two three ideas, like depositing Rs 15 lakh into the bank accounts of people, were good, but Modi lied. We have taken his idea and will be depositing Rs. 72000 per year into the bank accounts of poor once our government is formed," says Gandhi.
A Delhi Congress functionary on the condition of anonymity tells One India that politics is all about perception and using a negative one like Rs 15 lakh promise for your ambitious scheme just before Lok Sabha elections may boomerang.
"Announcing that the NYAY is inspired by Modi 's Rs. 15 lakh promise is like killing your own baby before birth. When the common people don't have faith on what politicians say then who is going to believe you that the NYAY won't be like Rs. 15 lakh jumla (idiomatic expression)? " says the young Congress leader.
It is notable that Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president Amit Shah said in 2015 that Narendra Modi's 'promise' as the party's PM candidate that each Indian would receive Rs 15 lakh when black money would be repatriated from abroad was a jumla and should not be taken literally.
The Opposition leaders, including Rahul, have been attacking Prime Minister Modi over non-fulfilment of Rs. 15 lakh promise.
It has become so negative that even the staunch supporters of Prime Minister Modi have devised funny ways to demand that he should be re-elected as prime minister.
Short videos made by Modi supporters are being shared on social media platforms like WhatsApp wherein they are heard saying that until the Prime Minister gives them Rs. 15 lakh they won't let him step down.
The Congress functionary expressed apprehensions that the BJP 's IT Cell may use its covert digital army to publicise that Rahul has admitted that NYAY is inspired by Rs 15 lakh jumla.
When asked how and when the NYAY would be implemented if the Congress forms the government, Rahul tells the Hindi daily, "We will not implement (NYAY) suddenly at 12 o 'clock like the GST. Neither will we implement it like demonetisation arbitrarily. It will be implemented stepwise and in stages in a planned manner. When the Congress forms the government then a survey will be conducted and a report will be prepared on its basis... "
The miffed Congress functionary reacted by saying, "What a normal reader would assume after reading Rahul's interview? He will be perplexed thinking about what type of survey? What type of report? He should have given a detailed answer by choosing the right words."
He opined that the majority of the readers would think that like Prime Minister Modi, Rahul also wants to garner votes in the name of NYAY and does not have a blueprint to implement it.
"When you say that a survey will be conducted, a report will be prepared then actually you are giving excuses in advance that after forming the government you will pass the time and the NYAY would be subjected to the bureaucratic delays," said the Congress leader.
Rahul has also said in the interview that many subsidy schemes will either be scrapped or curtailed in order to implement the NYAY.
Noted Professor of Economics at MIT Abhijit Banerjee, who was consulted by the Congress over NYAY, has also told Times Now that implementation of NYAY scheme will mean that lots of current welfare programmes will have to be scrapped.
He also said that NYAY scheme will have to be funded by new taxes. In other words, the middle class will have to bear the cost of Congress' political adventurism.
Interestingly, Rahul has shared this interview from his official Twitter handle.