Speaking at the release of Congress manifesto in Mumbai, former Union Minister Anand Sharma on Thursday said the party had worked out financial challenges in implementing the ambitious NYAY if elected to power while his colleague Milind Deora promised to build houses for slum dwellers if the party is voted to power.
Flagged by former chief minister Prithviraj Chavan and recently appointed Mumbai Congress president Milind Deora, Sharma took on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and claimed demonetisation was the biggest money-laundering scam, which will be investigated if UPA came to power.
Sharma said that countries such as the UK and the USA took 12 years to double their GDP after industrial revolutions and China took a decade to triple its GDP, but India was the only country in the world to quadruple its GDP under UPA from 2004 to 2014.
“We will accelerate the economic growth and distribute the resources. We will create wealth and redistribute… The money is available in the country. Congress has better minds for financial management,” Sharma said replying to a question about the burden of a scheme such as Nyuntam Aay Yojana.
Deora said that Congress will work towards providing 500 square feet houses to the slum dwellers. “Though it is not mentioned in the central Manifesto, we had a meeting with Mr. Rahul Gandhi and put this proposal before him and it will be done.” Other Mumbai candidates present at the function including, Priya Dutt and newly-inducted Urmila Matondkar did not address the press and Sanjay Nirupam was unable to make it at all.
Sharma said the manifesto focuses on jobs, farmers’ issues, security and ensuring the weakened economy is restored. He said there will be a separate budget for agriculture and farmers will not face criminal action in case they are not able to repay their loans.
A lot of this resonates with the latest report by Association of Democratic Reforms on Maharashtra about voter priorities. “The Maharashtra Survey 2018 shows that Better Employment Opportunities (42.10%), Drinking Water (37.53%) and Agriculture Loan Availability (29%) are the top three voters’ priorities in overall Maharashtra… In rural Maharashtra, top most voters’ priorities were Agriculture Loan Availability (51%), Availability of Water for Agriculture (49%) and Higher Price Realization of Farm Products (46%). For the urban voters in Maharashtra, the top most priorities were Better Employment Opportunities (48%), Drinking Water (43%) and Traffic Congestion (35%)", says the report.