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Rahul keeps realistic manifesto on back-burner, okays populist one

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New Delhi, March 19: Congress President Rahul Gandhi has decided to put a realistic election manifesto for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections on the back-burner and instead has okayed a populist one.

Congress Party President Rahul Gandhi

The sources say that the Congress manifesto in making would include full of appealing promises with an eye to woo voters and win elections.

The Congress election manifesto is aimed at attracting all sections of the society, particularly the first time voters and the youth.

The grand old party is buoyed with the success of farm loan waiver promise, which rode it into the power in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, and Rajasthan in recently held assembly elections.

Guaranteed minimum income scheme if we come to power says Rahul Gandhi

"Though the Congress President Rahul Gandhi wanted a realistic manifesto, the party's strategists have convinced him that populist poll promises are a must to win elections, " say sources.

They have cited the success of Congress' poll promises during assembly polls to drive home their point.

Therefore, the highlights of the Congress manifesto would be loan waiver for farmers, employment guarantee for youth, and reservation for women in jobs.

The main thrust of the Congress manifesto will be on employment for youth.

"The Narendra Modi government failed to provide jobs to youth as per its promise. The Congress has taken it very seriously and hence would promise to provide minimum income guarantee and job guarantee for youth," says a Congress leader.

When asked about how the Congress would fulfil a promise that the BJP couldn't, the Congress leader failed to provide a particular road map.

However, the informed sources tell OneIndia that the Congress has engaged some experts from the foreign countries to chalk out Minimum Income and job Guarantees.

It is pertinent to mention that Rahul Gandhi has been promising in his rallies that if the Congress is voted to power then every poor person in the country would get a guaranteed minimum income.

"The Congress' poll promises will counter the BJP's efforts to target first-time voters," said Congress sources.

They also maintain that the Congress is planning to propose 33 percent reservation for women in the jobs, and it could be a game changer in 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

The Congress is also eyeing to make farm loan waiver simpler.

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"The party is also contemplating to link Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) with agriculture and to increase daily wage guarantee of 100 - day work in a year. This will generate more jobs in the rural areas," say Congress sources.

The Congress strategists also plan to counter Modi Government's mega health scheme Ayushman Bharat with a promise of health guarantee in its election manifesto.

Pradhan Mantri Jan Arogya Yojana (PMJAY), popularly known as Ayushman Bharat, a centrally sponsored scheme launched in 2018, aims at making interventions in primary, secondary and tertiary care systems, covering both preventive and promotive health, to address healthcare holistically.

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