PM Narendra Modi, in a free-wheeling interview with Republic Media Network's Editor-In-Chief Arnab Goswami, spoke about a range of issues concerning the politics revolving around the Lok Sabha elections which are set to be held in less than two weeks.
During the interview, PM Modi shot down Congress' NYAY Minimum Income Guarantee promise ahead of the elections, wherein the party has promised a direct benefit transfer of Rs 72,000 per year to the 20% weakest families among India's poor. In doing so, the Prime Minister has highlighted that 'Garibi Hatao' and Rahul Gandhi's 'final assault on poverty' is something the Congress has assured multiple times across multiple generations:
"Their track record should be seen. One family for four generations - Nehruji spoke about poverty, Indiraji also spoke about poverty, Rajiv Gandhi also spoke about poverty, Sonia Gandhi also spoke about poverty and now the fifth generation is also talking about poverty. And these are the people who have ruled the country for 55 years. It has been only them ruling for 55 years. Despite that, their track record shows that the poor have become poorer. Who will trust them? The issue is not that...This is not about the economy..."
"Thirdly, when they know that they won't form the government, they think 'what's wrong in making these baseless claims?' You should see their 2004 manifesto. They had said that we will give debt to farmers in 2004, they repeated the same in 2009. Did you ask them these questions? They still have not executed it. It's only after I came to power that it was executed. They did not do it. Even if you look at their record in state elections. They announced to give the youth this kind of benefits. It's written down, but they did not. Just see their track record. You don't even have to reach to talk about economy. They know that they are not coming to power, so say whatever," he said.
Congress President Rahul Gandhi on March 26 said that its minimum income guarantee scheme, Nyuntam Aay Yojana (Nyay) assures up to Rs 72,000 a year or Rs 6,000 a month income to 20 per cent of India's poorest families if the party is voted back to power in the Lok Sabha elections next month.
Senior Congress leader and former finance minister P Chidambaram on March 27 said 'enough' economists and experts had been consulted and they broadly agreed that India has the capacity to implement the scheme.