The 2019 general elections will be held during Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary year. This reminds us that these elections are mainly between 2 ideologies. On the one hand is the Indian National Congress which has worked tirelessly to “wipe every tear from every eye,” while building a strong, harmonious, prosperous and modern India. On the other hand is the ideology of the RSS and its affiliates, which is working to destroy the very idea of India that the Mahatma gave his life for.
Over the last 5 years of the BJP government, India has suffered under the ‘Modi model,’ which has devastated our economy, impoverished our farmers, destroyed jobs, divided communities, stoked hatred and spread fear. It is a model that has stripped the average Indian of dignity, voice and trust. This is not the model India deserves. This is a model that all Indians must reject.
The Congress model is in stark contrast to the BJP model. The Congress has always provided transformative development, inclusive growth, responsive governance and reforms that strengthen the foundations of our Republic.
The 2019 elections are crucial for India’s future and our children’s future. The choices before our citizens are crystal clear.
Do we choose freedom or fear?
Do we choose harmony or hatred?
Do we choose inclusion or exclusion?
Do we choose dignity or oppression?
Do we choose prosperity for all or wealth for a few?
Do we choose results or jumlas?
Do we choose justice or injustice?
Our allies and other progressive political parties across the country recognise the importance of this moment. We have, therefore, come together to defeat the BJP-led coalition and set our nation on the right course. In this Manifesto, we present to you the only national alternative—the Indian National Congress.
Why Congress Again?
Our record speaks for itself. We have delivered prosperity for the people of India before. We will do it again!
Ahead of us lies an electoral battle that will decide the fate of our nation for decades to come. India has faced many such grave challenges before. The Indian National Congress has been at the forefront of many such battles, and India has always triumphed.
Congress led and won India’s struggle for freedom. We established and nurtured parliamentary democracy. We led India to adopt a visionary Constitution that ushered in peaceful socio-economic transformation, established institutions that safeguarded our Republic, and provided the nation its moral compass that has stood the test of time. On the other hand, under the BJP government, every independent institution has suffered an unprecedented loss of credibility. Congress will restore India’s faith in our institutions and Constitution. We have done it before. We will do it again!
Congress built a modern India marked by prosperity and productivity. We built the IITs, IIMs, AIIMSs, CSIR institutions and laboratories, and educational and scientific research institutions that harnessed the brilliance of Indian minds and talent. Congress ushered in the Green Revolution and the White Revolution that transformed lives in rural India. We built the public sector that was the foundation upon which industrialisation and technological progress reached commanding heights. We made India a nuclear and space power. We led the Electronics and Telecom Revolutions and made India a global leader in Information Technology.
On the other hand, the BJP government has ensured that farm prices are at a 10-year low, credit growth is at a 20-year low and unemployment is at a 45-year high. Exports and investment are at historical lows, projects are stalling at an increasing rate, and factory closures have led to a stagnating manufacturing sector. Digital India, Startup India and Make in India have been colossal failures. Petrol, diesel and gas prices have sky-rocketed. Consumers are in despair and have lost confidence in the government. Farmers are under extreme stress and have lost hope. An aspirational India has become a desperate India. Congress will once again bring India on track to be among the leading economies of the world in the 21st Century. We have delivered before. We will do it again!
Congress launched liberalisation and economic reforms. It is the Congress that created India’s successful middle class and the new entrepreneurial class. It is the Congress that passed rights-based legislation and created a social safety net for the very poor. It is the Congress-led UPA government that lifted an unprecedented 14 crore Indians out of poverty between 2004 and 2014.
On the other hand, Mr. Modi, arbitrarily and singlehandedly, devastated India’s economy through demonetisation. It cost the people of India at least Rs. 4 lakh crores in lost output, lakhs of jobs and greater indebtedness. Then, a poorly designed GST was implemented in a hasty and careless manner, with rules being changed haphazardly almost every day. Arbitrary powers given to authorities brought back the ‘Inspector Raj.’ Tax terrorism has crushed the animal spirits of our entrepreneurs. Together, these moves have destroyed the lives and livelihoods of farmers, traders, small business owners and workers in the unorganised sector. Congress will ensure that the excesses and mistakes of the past 5 years are reversed. We will usher in an economy that works for all and we will ensure that no one is left behind. We have delivered before. We will do it again!
Inspired by the slogan ‘Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan,’ the Congress government led India to victory in the 1965 war with Pakistan. In 1971, we decisively defeated Pakistan and liberated Bangladesh. We crushed secessionist forces, healed differences, and ensured the unity and integration of our people. Congress leaders Mahatma Gandhi, Smt. Indira Gandhi, Shri Rajiv Gandhi and Shri Beant Singh made the ultimate sacrifice for India.
On the other hand, the BJP Government’s policies have been based on the whim of one man, sidelining the Ministry of External Affairs and the entire diplomatic corps. The BJP Government is solely responsible for cancelling the gains made under the UPA years, the widening of fault lines, the total alienation of the people of Jammu & Kashmir, and a worsening of the security situation in that State. Pseudo-nationalism is on the rise and the success of the armed forces is politicised. The BJP Government’s political boasts have come even as the defence budget, as a percentage of GDP, has been reduced to its lowest levels in 50 years. The Congress will once again restore the pride of our armed forces, insulate them from politics, entrust the conduct of foreign policy to professional diplomats and strengthen India’s hard power.
We have delivered before. We will do it again!