News / Asia

In Election Manifesto, India’s Ruling Party Promises Inclusive Growth

India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) and Chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi hold their party's manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi, March 26, 2014.
India's Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) and Chief of India's ruling Congress party Sonia Gandhi hold their party's manifesto for the April/May general election in New Delhi, March 26, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha
India’s ruling Congress party has promised inclusive growth and unveiled a raft of anti-poverty policies as it seeks to woo voters in general elections starting April 7. As polls forecast major losses for the Congress party, its top leader, Rahul Gandhi, has mounted a sharp attack on the party’s main opponent.    
 
A right to health care and housing, pensions for the elderly and disabled and the creation of 100 million new jobs are among the measures India's ruling Congress party promised as it unveiled its election manifesto in New Delhi Wednesday.
 
Hurt by public anger over a series of corruption scandals and high inflation, polls have forecast that the party will be unable to win a third term in office in elections starting next month.
 
Seeking to wrest back the initiative from its main rival, the Bharatiya Janata Party, Congress is focusing on programs to woo the poor, who make up the bulk of the country’s 814-million electorate and the party's core constituency. The Congress Party calls its manifesto “Your Voice, Our Pledge.”
 
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said his party will revive the declining economy and its manufacturing sector to lift millions of people out of poverty.  “Growth by itself is not sufficient to achieve the solid results of an inclusive growth process. It needs to be backed by adequate concern about education, about health, about the needs of our women, scheduled castes, and scheduled tribes,” he said.
 
Disillusioned by the Congress Party, which is being blamed for the plummeting economy, most business leaders are backing the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party. The BJP’s main focus has been on the need for more development, jobs and investment in India.
 
But the incumbent party is promising to balance the interests of both big business and the poor. Rahul Gandhi is leading Congress' electoral campaign.
 
“The only way India is going to move forward is with a partnership that includes the poor, that includes the dispossessed and includes business. If you try to construct a government model that focuses only on business or only on the poor you will not take India forward,” Gandhi said.
 
The ruling Congress Party is also pledging to be more inclusive than its main opposition. Congress President Sonia Gandhi said the upcoming elections are not just about economic and social programs, but her party’s fight to keep India’s secular fabric intact.
 
The comments directly target the BJP and its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi. Modi’s critics question his commitment to secularism and accuse of him of not doing enough to stop riots which killed more than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, in his Gujarat state in 2002.
 
Congress party vice president Rahul Gandhi said that Modi represents a vision that is “exclusionary” and will harm the country as it pits one against another.   “The issue here is an ideology and it is an ideology that is basically questioning the fundamentals of what this country stands for. It is basically questioning the idea of this country. That is why I am against him," he stated. "The real issue is the dangers represented by the ideology.”
 
The BJP dismisses the Congress Party’s criticism and says such fears are meant to woo Muslim votes. While the BJP is not forecast to win an outright majority in parliament, it is expected to unseat the Congress party.
 
A confident Gandhi however dismissed polls forecasting major losses for his party and said Wednesday that election results will surprise everyone.
   
The five-week poll will continue until May 12. Votes will be counted on May 16.

You May Like

Video Video Claims to Show Shi'ite Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

While not yet independently confirmed, brutal killing already has gotten attention of Islamic State followers on social media More

After Six Years, Little Change for Niger Delta's Former Militants

Nigerians who laid down arms in exchange for government amnesty subsidies fear program may end with upcoming presidential elections More

Vietnam Pushes for More Educated Drivers to Curb Road Deaths

Transportation officials hope that making a greater effort to get drivers to learn the rules of the road will reduce fatal crashes More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planeti
X
George Putic
March 04, 2015 8:51 PM
NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video African Americans Recall 1960's Fight For Voting Rights

U.S. President Barack Obama and thousands of people will gather in the small southern U.S. city of Selma, Alabama, Saturday, March 7th to commemorate the 50th anniversary of a historic voting rights march that became known as “Bloody Sunday." VOA’s Chris Simkins traveled to Alabama and introduces us to some of the foot soldiers of the voting rights struggles of the 1960’s.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Cyber War Rages Between Iran, US

A newly published report indicates Iran and the United States have increased their cyber attacks on each other, even as their top diplomats are working toward an agreement to guarantee Iran does not develop a nuclear weapon and to free Iran from international sanctions. The development is part of a growing global trend. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.
Video

Video Land Disputes Arise Amid Uganda Oil Boom

Ugandan police say there has been a sharp increase in land disputes, with 10 new cases being reported each day. The claims come amid an oil boom as investors appear to be cashing in by selling parcels of land to multiple buyers. Meanwhile, the people who have been living on the land for decades are chased away, sometimes with a heavy hand. VOA's Serginho Roosblad reports.
Video

Video In Russia, Many Doubt Opposition Leader's Killer Will Be Found

The funeral has been held in Moscow for Boris Nemtsov, the opposition leader who was assassinated late Friday just meters from the Kremlin. Nemtsov joins a growing list of outspoken critics of Russia under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin who are believed to have been murdered for their work. VOA’s Daniel Schearf reports from Moscow.
Video

Video Simulated Astronauts Get Taste of Mars, in Hawaii

For generations, people have dreamed of traveling to Mars to explore Earth's closest planetary neighbor. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports that while space agencies like NASA are planning manned missions to the planet, some volunteers in Hawaii are learning how humans will cope with months in isolation on a Mars base.
Video

Video Destruction of Iraq Artifacts Shocks Archaeologists

The city of Mosul was once one of the most culturally rich and religiously diverse cities in Iraq. That tradition is under attack by members of the Islamic State who have made Mosul their capital city. The Mosul Museum is the latest target of the group’s campaign of terror and destruction, and is of grave concern to archaeologists around the world. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports.
Video

Video Smartphones May Help in Diagnosing HIV

Diagnosing infections such as HIV requires expensive clinical tests, making the procedure too costly for many poor patients or those living in remote areas. But a new technology called lab-on-a-chip may make the tests more accessible to many. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Afghan Refugees Complain of Harassment in Pakistan

Afghan officials have expressed concern over reports of a crackdown on Afghan refugees in Pakistan following the Peshawar school attack in December. Reports of mass arrests and police harassment coupled with fear of an uncertain future are making life difficult for a population that fled its homeland to escape war. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports from Islamabad.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More