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

    Top US General: Turkish Media Report ‘Absurd'

    General Dunford rejects ‘irresponsible' claims of coup involvement by former four-star Army General Campbell, who led NATO forces in Afghanistan before retiring earlier this year

    Video Saving Ethiopian Children Thought to Be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at efforts of one African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children

    Protests Over Western Troops Threaten Libyan 'Unity' Government

    Fears mount that Islamist foes of ‘unity' government plan to declare a revolutionaries' council in Tripoli

    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.
    London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunitiesi
    X
    VOA News
    July 25, 2016 5:09 PM
    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.
    Video

    Video In State of Emergency, Turkey’s Erdogan Focuses on Spiritual Movement

    The state of emergency that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has declared is giving him even more power to expand a purge that has seen an estimated 60,000 people either arrested or suspended from their jobs. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports from Istanbul.
    Video

    Video Calm the Waters: US Doubles Down Diplomatic Efforts in ASEAN Meetings

    The United States is redoubling diplomatic efforts and looking to upcoming regional meetings to calm the waters after an international tribunal invalidated the legal basis of Beijing's extensive claims in the South China Sea. VOA State Department correspondent Nike Ching has the story.
    Video

    Video Four Brother Goats Arrive in Brooklyn on a Mission

    While it's unusual to see farm animals in cities, it's become familiar for residents of Brooklyn, New York, to see a little herd of goats. Unlike gas-powered mowing equipment, goats remove invasive weeds quietly and without adding more pollution to the air. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this is a pilot program and if it proves to be successful, the goat gardener program will be extended to other areas of New York. Faith Lapidus narrates.
    Video

    Video Scientists in Poland Race to Save Honeybees

    Honeybees are in danger worldwide. Causes of what's known as colony collapse disorder range from pesticides and loss of habitat to infections. But scientists in Poland say they are on track to finding a cure for one of the diseases. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Wall Already Runs Along Parts of US-Mexico Border

    The Republican Party’s presidential nominee, Donald Trump, gained the support of many voters by saying he would build a wall to keep undocumented immigrants and drugs from coming across the border from Mexico. Critics have called his idea impractical and offensive to Mexico, while supporters say such a bold approach is needed to control the border. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from the border town of Nogales, Arizona.
    Video

    Video New HIV Tests Emphasize Rapid Results

    As the global fight against AIDS intensifies, activists have placed increasing importance on getting people to know their HIV status. Some companies are developing new HIV testing methods designed to be quick, easy and accurate. Thuso Khumalo looks at the latest methods, presented at the International AIDS conference in Durban, South Africa.
    Video

    Video African Youth with HIV Urge More Support

    HIV, the virus that causes AIDS, is the top killer of teens in sub-Saharan Africa. But many youths say their experience with the virus is unique and needs to be addressed differently than the adult epidemic. VOA South African Correspondent Anita Powell reports.
    Video

    Video Pop-Up Art Comes to Your Living Room, Backyard and Elsewhere

    Around the world, independent artists and musicians wrestle with a common problem: where to exhibit or perform? Traditional spaces such as museums and galleries are reserved for bigger names, and renting a space is not feasible for many. Enter ArtsUp, which connects artists with venue owners. Whether it’s a living room, restaurant, office or even a boat, pop-up events are bringing music and art to unexpected places. Tina Trinh has more.
    Video

    Video Scotland’s Booming Whisky Industry Fears Brexit Hangover

    After Britain’s vote to leave the European Union, Scotland’s government wants to break away from the United Kingdom – fearing the nation’s exports are at risk. Among the biggest of these is whisky. Henry Ridgwell reports on a time of turmoil for those involved in the ancient art of distilling Scotland’s most famous product.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora