Congress Manifesto For Lok Sabha Polls: J&K Statehood, Law For LGBTQIA+, Quotas, MSP & More| Key Promises

Congress Manifesto For Lok Sabha Polls: The manifesto, titled ‘Nyay Patra’, was released at the Congress headquarters in Delhi in the presence of party president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

Congress party on Friday released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2024 Photo: PTI

The Congress party on Friday released its manifesto for the Lok Sabha elections 2024, with big promises like 50 per cent central government jobs for women from 2025, legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) and 50 per cent cap on reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs among others.

The manifesto, titled ‘Nyay Patra’, was released at the Congress headquarters in Delhi in the presence of party president Mallikarjun Kharge and former party chiefs Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi.

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The manifesto is divided into 10 focus areas - Equity, Youth, Women, Farmers, Workers, Defending the constitution, Economy, Federalism, National Security, Environment - and concluded with 'an appeal'.

Key Promises From Congress Manifesto 2024

  • Cap On Reservation For SC, ST, OBCs: The Congress said it guarantees that it will pass a constitutional amendment to raise the 50 per cent cap on reservations for SC, ST and OBC.

  • Reservation For EWS: Congress promised that reservation of 10 per cent in jobs and educational institutions for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) will be implemented for all castes and communities without discrimination.

  • Filling Backlog Vacancies: Congress promised to fill all the backlog vacancies in posts reserved for SC, ST and OBC within a period of one year.

  • Freedom Of Choice Of Dress, Food: Congress said it will ensure that, like every citizen, minorities have the freedom of choice of dress, food, language and personal laws.

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  • 50% Reservation For Women In Central Govt Jobs: Congress said it will reserve one-half (50 per cent) of central government jobs for women starting in 2025.

  • Legal Gurantee To MSP: Congress said it will give a legal guarantee to the Minimum Support Prices (MSP) announced by the government every year, as recommended by the Swaminathan Commission

  • Restoration Of Statehood To J&K: Congress said the party will immediately restore full statehood to Jammu and Kashmir. "We will amend the Sixth Schedule of the Constitution to include the tribal areas of Ladakh," Congress said.

  • Proposal For LGBTQIA+: Congress said, after wide consultation, party "will bring a law to recognize civil unions between couples belonging to the LGBTQIA+ community."

  • Medical Vacancies To Be Filled: All vacancies in medical and paramedical posts in public health institutions and all vacancies in medical colleges will be filled in three year, Congress said in its manifesto.

  • Rs 1 Lakh A Year For Graduates Below 25: Congress said it guarantees a new Right to Apprenticeship Act to provide a one year apprenticeship with a private or a public sector company to every diploma holder or college graduate below the age of 25. Apprentices will get Rs 1 lakh a year, the party said, adding that the apprenticeship will impart skills, enhance employability and provide full-time job opportu-nities for millions of youth.

  • Amendment In Right to Education (RTE) Act: Congress said it brought in the Right to Education (RTE) Act in 2009 that "transformed education for children between the ages of 6 and 14." The party said it will amend the RTE Act to make education from Class I to Class XII in public schools compulsory and free.

  • Amendment NDA's New Education Policy (NEP): Congress said the New Education Policy (NEP) announced by the BJP/NDA government has been opposed by education-ists and several state governments. "Education is a concurrent subject and the rights of states to formulate an education policy must be respected. Hence, we will revisit and amend the NEP in consultation with the state governments," Congress said.

  • Rs 1 Lakh A Year To Poor Families: Congress said it "resolves to launch a Mahalakshmi scheme to provide Rs 1 lakh per year to every poor Indian family as an unconditional cash transfer." The poor will be identified among the families in the bottom of the income pyramid, Congress said.

  • Scrapping Agnipath Scheme: Congress said it will scrap the Agnipath Scheme and return to the normal recruitment processes followed by the Army, Navy and Air Force that will guarantee economic and social security for our soldiers.

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The Congress also said it promises "you freedom from fear."

Congress, in its manifesto, also promised to "de-criminalise the offence of defamation" and "provide, by law, a speedy remedy by way of civil damages."

"We promise not to interfere with personal choices of food and dress, to love and marry, and to travel and reside in any part of India. All laws and rules that interfere unreasonably with personal freedoms will be repealed," the Congress said in its manifesto for Lok Sabha elections 2024.

Congress's 'Appeal'

In an appeal, the Congress party in its manifesto said that the ten years of the BJP/NDA government "have been marked by exaggeration and publicity rather than substance and performance."

The economy has registered less-than-satisfactory growth, Congress said, adding that widespread unemployment, high inflation and falling consumption have debilitated even this modest growth.

"While the poor and the middle classes have been hit below the belt, the atmosphere in the country has become hate-filled and divisive. Constitutional values have been pushed to the background and majoritarianism has taken over. Inequalities have widened. Every section of the people lives in fear," Congress said.

What India and the Indian people need at this time, as per Congress, "is a decisive break from the path of the last ten years."

"The people yearn to walk on the road of all-round development, equality, equity, freedom and justice. Congress has the capability to provide the leadership to the people to walk on this new road.The lessons of history are there before you. Congress delivered Independence. Congress laid the foundations of democracy. Congress steered the country’s economic development through the 1950s and 1960s. Congress govern-ments fought the wars of 1965 and 1971 and protected the sovereignty and integrity of India. Congress brought about a paradigm change in 1991 and ushered in an era of impressive growth. In the last ten years, the Congress has been the bulwark against illiberalism and authoritarianism. Congress has stood with the people in their fight against injustice and oppressive laws."