The Congress party released its manifesto in a function which was attended by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi. The party had prepared the manifesto after holding consultations across the country over five months. Rahul Gandhi said that the party’s vision is forward looking and it will empower the common man. He also added that the party aims to upgrade 70 crore people to middle class. The party aims to provide better life and social security to the poor people.
Rahul had interacted with hawkers, labourers to know more about the problems faced by them. Congress has laid emphasis on the social sector by promising Right to Health, Right to House, Right to Pension etc. Also the manifesto claims to remove poverty alleviation, corruption eradication, focus on infrastructure development, massive job creation etc. There is also a promise for attempting consensus for providing quota in private sectors. The Congress also promised to work for women’s empowerment and children’s protection, and safeguarding the minorities.
It pledged to encourage Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and push Goods and Services Tax (GST) and Direct Taxes Code (DTC) within one year of coming to power for a third straight term. The party had made several promises in the year 2004 and 2009 but many of them remain unfulfilled. Most of the agendas are implemented taking into consideration vote-bank politics. The UPA II had witnessed several scams like the Common Wealth Scam, Adarsh Scam, 2 G spectrum scam, Coalgate scam etc. Thus the tax-payers hard earned money has been lost on account of these scams. If so much money has gone down the drain then how will the party fulfil the promises made by it and where is the budgetary allocation made for it?
The Right to Education (RTE) Act which was passed in the year 2009 is yet to be implemented due to the shortage of funds. People will get the benefits of the Food Security Bill only in July. Secondly, questions are being raised about its implementation as there is a possibility of the foodgrains being diverted to the market. The bill will raise the national fiscal deficit which is rising day by day. There is lack of proper mechanism to monitor a programme like the Food Security Bill. The Food Security Bill was included in the UPA government’s 2004 poll manifesto but it was only passed last year. Experts are already questioning the timing of the passage of the bill as it is only an attempt to dole out sops to voters before the Lok Sabha election.
The government is already facing tremendous shortage of funds and very weak Current Account Deficit (CAD) condition. Inflation too has increased at an alarming rate during the UPA II reign as the government lacked political will to address it. Only promises were made to contain inflation but it never got materialised. The government had promised to bring black money within 100 days in 2009 but it remains unfulfilled. Instead of mentioning about the statistics pertaining to GDP growth the government could work backwards and first try to fulfil those promises which have been made by it during its last reign.