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‘Got idea from Modi speech’: Rahul Gandhi jabs PM on income guarantee plan

Rahul Gandhi said after listening to the PM’s speech, he consulted the Congress’s think tank and asked them to come up with a concrete programme to empower the poor of the country.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2019 16:25 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Rahul Gandhi,Lok Sabha elections 2014,PM Modi
Congress president Rahul Gandhi said the NYAY is so powerful that it has “shaken Narendra Modi”.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Friday said he got the idea of minimum income guarantee scheme from the “Rs 15 lakh” speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that he gave in the run-up to the 2014 Lok Sabha election.

“I watched Narendra Modi’s speech in which he promised to give Rs 15 lakh to every Indian. He said it two-three times...15 lakh, 15 lakh...I thought he is saying the right thing. The idea is correct that money must go the bank account of the poor. I grabbed this idea,” Gandhi said at a public rally in Haryana’s Yamunanagar.

Gandhi said after watching the PM’s speech, he consulted the think tank of the Congress party and asked the team to come up with a concrete programme to empower the poor of the country.

“After having discussed it for six months, we have now a plan, NYAY (Nyuntam Aay Yojana) under which Rs 72,000 will be deposited in the bank accounts of the poorest people,” Gandhi said.

The Congress president said the NYAY is so powerful that it has “shaken Narendra Modi”. Gandhi, earlier this week, promised that the Congress, if voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections, will implement a minimum income guarantee scheme for the poorest 20 per cent of Indian households.

Named as NYAY, the scheme is aimed at providing cash support to 5 crore families or 25 crore individuals. The BJP has criticised Gandhi for making an unworkable election promise. Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley called it a “bluff announcement”.

Gandhi, in his speech, was referring to PM Modi’s 2014 election speech wherein he, as the BJP’s prime ministerial candidate, promised to bring back black money stashed in foreign banks within 100 days of coming to power.

In the same speech, he had said that if all the black money was brought back to the country, it would be enough to deposit Rs 15 lakh in every poor person’s bank account. The promise led to a huge controversy that has not died down till date and the Opposition has used the speech to target the BJP and PM Modi.

In Haryana, Gandhi, while referring to the speech, said, “PM Modi told a lie. I don’t lie. I have promised to give Rs 72,000 to each poor family…This promise is so powerful that it has shaken (the confidence of) Narendra Modi. You would have noticed if you saw him on TV two days ago.”

First Published: Mar 29, 2019 15:02 IST