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

US Imposes Sanctions on Alleged Honduran Drug Gang

Treasury department alleges Los Valles group is responsible for smuggling tens of thousands of kilograms of cocaine into US each month More

At 91, Marvel Creator Stan Lee Continues to Expand his Universe

Company's chief emeritus hopes to interest new generation of children in superheroes of all shapes and sizes by publishing content across multiple media platforms More

Photogallery New Drug Protects Against Virus in Ebola Family

Study by researchers at University of Texas Medical Branch, Tekmira Pharmaceuticals is first looking at drug's effectiveness after onset of symptoms 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.
African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebolai
X
George Putic
August 20, 2014 8:57 PM
While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video African Media Tries to Educate Public About Ebola

While the Ebola epidemic continues to claim lives in West Africa, information technology specialists, together with radio and TV reporters, are battling misinformation and prejudice about the disease - using social media to educate the public about the deadly virus. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Ferguson Calls For Justice as Anger, Violence Grips Community

Violence, anger and frustration continue to grip the small St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri. Protests broke out after a white police officer fatally shot an unarmed black teenager on August 9. The case has sparked outrage around the nation and prompted the White House to send U.S. Attorney Eric Holder to the small community of just over 20,000 people. VOA’s Mary Alice Salinas has more from Ferguson.
Video

Video Beheading Of US Journalist Breeds Outrage

U.S. and British authorities have launched an investigation into an Islamic State video showing the beheading of kidnapped American journalist James Foley by a militant with a British accent. The extremist group, which posted the video on the Internet Tuesday, said the murder was revenge for U.S. airstrikes on militant positions in Iraq - and has threatened to execute another American journalist it is holding. Henry Ridgwell has more from London.
Video

Video Family Robots - The Next Big Thing?

Robots that can help us with daily chores like cooking and cleaning are a long way off, but automatons that serve as family companions may be much closer. Researchers in the United States, France, Japan and other countries are racing to build robots that can entertain and perform some simpler tasks for us. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video In Ukraine, Fear and Distrust Remain Where Fighting has Stopped

As the Ukrainian military reclaims control of eastern cities from pro-Russian separatists, residents are getting a chance to rebuild their lives. VOA's Gabe Joselow reports from the town of Kramatorsk in Donetsk province, where a sense of fear is still in the air, and distrust of the government in Kyiv still runs deep.
Video

Video Five Patients Given Experimental Ebola Drug Said to Be Improving

The World Health Organization has approved the use of experimental treatments for Ebola patients in West Africa. The Ebola outbreak there is unprecedented, the disease deadly. The number of people who have died from Ebola has surpassed 1,200. VOA's Carol Pearson reports on the ethical considerations of allowing experimental drugs to be used.
Video

Video China Targets Overseas Assets of Corrupt Officials

As China presses forward with its anti-graft effort, authorities are targeting corrupt officials who have sent family members and assets overseas. The efforts have stirred up a debate at home on exactly how many officials take that route and how likely it is they will be caught. Rebecca Valli has this report.
Video

Video Leading The Fight Against Islamic State, Kurds Question Iraqi Future

Western countries including the United States have begun arming the Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq to aid their battle against extremist Sunni militants from the Islamic State. But there are concerns that a heavily-armed Kurdistan Regional Government, or KRG, might seek to declare independence and cause the break-up of the Iraqi state. As Henry Ridgwell reports from London, the KRG says it will only seek greater autonomy from Baghdad.
Video

Video In Rural Kenya, Pressure Builds Against Female Circumcision

In some Kenyan communities, female genital mutilation remains a rite of passage. But activists are pushing back, with education for girls and with threats of punishment those who perform the circumcision. Mohammed Yusuf looks at the practice in the rural eastern community of Tharaka-Nithi.

AppleAndroid