This afternoon the Congress Party has released its manifesto. It is opportune that the promises made in the earlier blueprints be examined and an assessment be made of the extent to which the Party had fulfilled those promises.
On a close inspection what comes out as almost ridiculous is the way in which the same content has been repeated election after election. What the manifesto had promised in 2004 is exactly the same what was promised in 2009 and even more bizarrely, the same content has been spoken of today for the 2019 manifesto. For instance, the content on broadband connectivity is a clear cut-paste job. In 2004 manifesto, they had promised to connect all villages to a broadband network in 3 years, repeated the same in 2009 and low and behold, repeated the same today! As for facts, between 2009 and 2014, only 59 Gram Panchayats out of 2.5 lakh had been connected through high-speed OFC (Optical Fibre Cable) by the Congress government. And in contrast of contrasts, the Modi government has already ensured that about an impressive 1.2 lakh gram panchayats have been connected with OFCs.
Nonetheless, the following is a snapshot of how Congress’s manifestos on various issues have remained on paper through the years. As opposed to the Congress, how Modi government has fulfilled those same promises made by the grand old party, this piece captures further.
Farmers – Direct Income Support
Congress will also examine the feasibility of an Agricultural Stabilisation Fund involving a system of direct support or income support to farmers particularly in the ecologically vulnerable regions of the country.
The INC will implement comprehensive crop insurance schemes and will also examine the feasibility of direct income support to farmers in the ecologically vulnerable regions of the country.
Status in 2014: However, nothing came out of it while Congress kept examining the feasibility!
Status in 2019: PM Modi launched PM-Kisan for all the small and marginal farmers and not only in ecologically vulnerable regions which is set to benefit about 12 crore farmers.
Power-Universal Household Electrification
The Congress will launch a special programme so as to ensure each household will have full access to reliable power in the next three to five years. The Congress will use India’s foreign exchange reserves.
Around the same time, Rajeev Gandhi Grameen Vidyutikaran Yojana had been announced by the then Chairperson of National Advisory Council, Sonia Gandhi wherein electricity had been promised to all households by 2009.
Status in 2014: Let alone 2009, even in 2014, this promise couldn’t be fulfilled.
Status in 2019: All villages have been electrified. As for households, government has already given power to more than 2.5 crore under Saubhagya scheme with only 18,000 households left now.
One Rank One Pension
The long-pending issue of one-rank, one-pension will once again be examined and the satisfactory solution arrived at expeditiously.
Status in 2014: Never delivered at all.
Status in 2019: OROP delivered to the satisfaction of the armed forces.
Village women and their associations will be empowered to assume responsibility for all development schemes relating to drinking water supply, sanitation, primary education and health, nutrition, biogas, maintenance of water pumps and borewells and farm forestry.
Status in 2014: Let alone 2009, even in 2014, sanitation coverage was about 39% only.
Status in 2019: Sanitation coverage increased to 98 percent.
With the huge IT expertise available in our country, it is possible to provide every Indian with a unique identity card after the publication of the national population register in the year 2011.
Status in 2014: By October 2013, only 46 crore Aadhar cards could be issued in 4 years of UPA.
Status in 2019: Today, almost every Indian has an Aadhar card.
We will ensure the highest level of defence preparedness.
Status in 2014: MMRCA tender for Rafale aircraft never finalised under UPA government. Bulletproof jackets couldn’t be provided to soldiers.
Status in 2019: Rafale deal not only finalised but also delivery of aircraft to begin. Also, after army made a request in 2009 for 1.86 lakh bulletproof jackets for soldiers, they could only be finally given by NDA government.
We will guarantee health security for all.
Status in 2014: Only 2.5 crore families had Rashtriya Swastha Bima Yojana (RSBY) card in FY 2013-14 or were covered in FY 2013-14.
Status in 2019: 10 crore families insured under Ayushman Bharat.
We will connect all villages to a broadband network in three years’ time
Status in 2014: 59 Gram Panchayats out of 2.5 lakh connected through high-speed OFC (Optical Fibre Cable) in a matter of 5 years
Status in 2019: 1.16 lakh gram panchayats are connected with OFCs (Optical fibre networks)
We will introduce the GST from April 1, 2010
Status in 2014: Not implemented.
Status in 2019: Promised and delivered. Passed in 2017.
We will maintain high growth with low inflation.
Status in 2014: As far as growth is concerned, economy was in ‘Fragile Five’ and average inflation during UPA II was 10.1 percent.
Status in 2019: Economy is now the fastest growing and CPI Inflation in February 2019 was 2.57 percent.
Reservation Promise for EWS
The INC also pledges to carve out a reservation for the economically weaker sections of all communities without prejudice to existing reservations for SCs, STs and OBCs.
Status in 2014: Not even touched it.
Status in 2019: Government provided 10% reservation to EWS among general category.
Protection from terrorism
The INC recognises the fundamental need to give a sense of security to every Indian…maximum possible security to all Indians, against both external and internal threats.
Status in 2014: Dozens of places were subjected to bomb attacks including Delhi, Mumbai, Banaras and Pune by terrorists.
Status in 2019: There is zero tolerance shown by this government the results of which have been visible to all. The airstrikes on Balakot even breaching Pakistani sovereign territory have resoundingly demonstrated the government’s resolve to deal with the terror demon unlike Congress’ ham-handedness shown after 26/11 Mumbai attacks.
Cleaning of Ganga
The Ganga River Basin Authority has been established with the PM at its head for ensuring that development needs are met in an ecologically sustainable manner. The Authority will be accorded the highest priority.
Status in 2014: Nothing moved on the cleaning of the river. No sewage treatment plant was built and the dirty waters continued to flow into the river.
Status in 2019: Over 4,000 villages made Open Defecation Free ODF) already. The dirty flow from the infamous sisamau drain in Kanpur stopped.
Thus the release of the Congress manifesto in today is yet another attempt at pulling wool over the electorate’s eyes. The track record of the Party speaks for itself.