Published On: Fri, Apr 5th, 2024

Congress manifesto makes big promises including ‘caste census, legal MSP guarantee

New Delhi: In a bid to address social inequities, the Congress party unveiled its manifesto ahead of the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, pledging a slew of reforms.

The manifesto sets ambitious targets for economic growth

Among the key promises is a commitment to amend the Constitution to raise the cap on reservations for Scheduled Castes (SC), Scheduled Tribes (ST), and Other Backward Classes (OBC). Additionally, the party’s manifesto advocates for a comprehensive nationwide Socio-Economic and Caste Census to accurately assess the socio-economic conditions of various communities.

To tackle political defections, Congress vows to amend the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution, making defection an automatic disqualification from legislative bodies. This move aims to enhance political accountability and reduce opportunistic party-switching.

The manifesto underscores the party’s focus on economic empowerment for minorities, promising fair access to banking services and opportunities in education, healthcare, employment, and cultural activities. It emphasizes ensuring freedom of choice in personal matters such as dress, food, language, and personal laws for all citizens, including minorities.

In a bid to address job scarcity and uplift marginalized communities, Congress pledges to implement a 10% reservation for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) across all castes and communities. The party also commits to filling backlog vacancies in government posts reserved for SC, ST, and OBC within a year, along with enacting laws to introduce reservation in private educational institutions.

The manifesto promises to enhance social security measures by increasing pensions for senior citizens, widows, and persons with disabilities. It also proposes the adoption of the Rajasthan Model of cashless insurance for universal healthcare coverage, aiming to alleviate the financial burden of medical expenses on citizens.

In a bid to promote sports and education, the Congress pledges sports scholarships for young athletes and comprehensive legislation for sports federations to ensure accountability and protection against discrimination. Additionally, the manifesto promises to recognize civil unions for all couples after consultation, affirming the rights of the LGBTQIA+ community.

To address agrarian distress, Congress vows to legally guarantee Minimum Support Prices (MSP) for agricultural produce, addressing a longstanding demand of farmers. This move aims to provide farmers with economic security and fair compensation for their produce.

In a significant move towards gender equality, the manifesto proposes reserving 50% of central government jobs for women and launching the Mahalakshmi scheme to provide unconditional cash transfers to poor Indian families. Additionally, Congress commits to electoral reforms, combining the efficiency of electronic voting machines (EVMs) with the transparency of paper ballots to ensure the integrity of the electoral process.

The manifesto sets ambitious targets for economic growth, aiming to double the country’s GDP in the next decade. It also outlines plans to reform the Goods and Services Tax (GST) regime and guarantee the Right to Apprenticeship for young graduates. On the foreign policy front, Congress pledges to address border disputes with China, restore relations with neighbouring countries like the Maldives and Myanmar, and engage with Pakistan in counter-terrorism efforts.

To address the menace of fake news and paid news, the Congress promises to empower the Press Council of India to tackle misinformation effectively. This move underscores the party’s commitment to upholding press freedom and combating disinformation in the media landscape.

The Congress manifesto presents a comprehensive vision for governance, encompassing social justice, economic development, minority rights, and foreign policy, among other key areas. With bold promises and policy overhauls, the party seeks to address pressing challenges and pave the way for inclusive growth and progress.

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