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Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday said that the "Nyay'' minimum income scheme promised by his party will act like "petrol" and revive the economy.
He was addressing his first poll rally in Chhattisgarh after the Lok Sabha elections were announced. With the Nyay scheme, people will be able to buy things they need "which will revive manufacturing units and thereby generate employment opportunities", he said.
"Nyay scheme will act like petrol for the Indian economy which will kickstart its engine," he added.
"In 2014, Narendra Modi made tall promises of providing two crore jobs, fair prices to farmers and depositing Rs. 15 lakh in everyone''s bank account," the Congress chief said.
Instead, PM Modi "snatched money from the poor and put it in the pockets" of a few businessmen, he said.
"Modi had raised hopes of people by promising to deposit Rs. 15 lakh in their account. I was well aware that it cannot be done," Mr Gandhi said.
"I spoke with world's renowned economists and senior leaders of Congress about how much money can be put into the accounts of the poor so that it would not affect the economy. I spoke to (former finance minister) P C Chidambaram and others and asked them to come up with a figure. Chidambaram came to me and said we can give Rs. 72,000 to five crore poor families per year," he said.
"When we promised to waive farm loans in Chhattisgarh, Modi had asked where the money will come from. But we showed where the money comes from after waiving farm loans in Chhattigarh, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan (after winning Assembly polls in the three states)," Mr Gandhi said.
"As soon as we are elected to power, we will deposit Rs. 72,000 in bank accounts of poorest families," he said.
"In the 21st century, India will surely eliminate poverty. We will show it by carrying out a surgical strike on poverty in the next 10-15 years," the Congress chief said.
The money under Nyay will be deposited in the account of the woman member of the family because it was women "who have suffered much due to demonetisation", he said. The unemployment rate in the country stands at a 45-year high due to demonetisation and the "Gabbar Singh Tax" (as he refers to Goods and Services Tax), Gandhi said.
During demonetisation, "money was taken out from people''s pockets and put in banks" and later given to businessmen like Nirav Modi who fled from the country, Mr Gandhi said.
Promising a separate farmers'' budget, Mr Gandhi said wherever farmers seek loan waiver, the demand will be met. The Congress has fielded Atal Shrivastav, state Congress' general secretary, from Bilaspur, which will go to the polls in the third phase on April 23. His main rival is BJP's Arun Sao. The BJP denied ticket to its incumbent MP Lakhanlal Sahu.
(With inputs from PTI)
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