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HindustanTimes Thu,02 Oct 2014

Congress makes strategic shift ahead of polls, says middle class is 'aam aadmi' too

Aurangzeb Naqshbandi, Hindustan Times  Jaipur, January 20, 2013
First Published: 23:53 IST(20/1/2013) | Last Updated: 12:06 IST(21/1/2013)

In a strategic change, the Congress has included the middle class in its description of "aam aadmi" ahead of the coming elections in nine states and the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.

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The move to widen the scope of the term, which till now had comprised the poor, is the party's attempt to revive its traditional links with the middle class, which had drifted away in the recent past.

Over the last two years, the middle class has displayed its anguish against the government by repeatedly taking to the streets. The most recent protest - over the brutal gangrape of a 23-year-old girl in Delhi - has brought this section back to the centrestage of Indian politics.

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In its 13-page Jaipur declaration, the Congress said it would go to the people on the basis of its promise of economic growth for all, especially the 'aam aadmi' representing "the poor and the middle classes". Congress president Sonia Gandhi has admitted that the Congress revival largely depends on addressing the disenchantment of the middle class.

Recognising the aspiration for advancement among the youth and the middle class, the party has asserted that technology-driven policies and programmes to address their concerns was its top priority now.

Accordingly, in its 56-point declaration, the party has committed to making technology and innovation important drivers of the country's inclusive growth model.

It said the UPA government's initiatives of direct benefits transfer and taking broadband internet to every panchayat, were concrete examples of the use of technology to improve the life of the aam aadmi.

To lure the young India, it has promised to create 10 million jobs every year.

Knowing that public infrastructure is the backbone of a strong nation and a strong economy, the party also promised to ensure rapid development of roads, highways, ports, and railways.


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