French economist Thomas Piketty has confirmed that he is helping the Congress party with its poll promise of minimum income guarantee scheme, ThePrint reported on Thursday. In January, Congress President Rahul Gandhi had said his party would implement such a scheme if voted to power in the General Elections.

Piketty defended the scheme, saying India’s elite have treated the poor badly. “It is high time to move from the politics of caste conflict to the politics of income and wealth distribution,” the Paris School of Economics professor told ThePrint.

Piketty said he was advising the Congress on the idea along with Professor Abhijit Banerjee of Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “Yes, we’ve been exchanging with the Congress together with Abhijit Banerjee about how much it would cost and how to implement this,” he said. “My view is that a minimum income scheme would be highly welcome.”

On January 31, ThePrint had reported that Piketty and Nobel laureate British economist Angus Deaton were advising the Congress on the scheme. Deaton has, however, denied the report.