Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said that the middle class will not have to pay a single paisa for the Nyuntam Aay Yojana that his party has promised to implement if it comes to power. Under the scheme, the Congress has proposed to deposit Rs 6,000 per month in the bank accounts of the poorest 20% of the country’s population.

At a rally in Samastipur in Bihar, Gandhi said the NYAY scheme will help the people of Bihar the most. “I exposed the chowkidar’s lies about depositing Rs 15 lakh in your account,” he said. “But it is possible to put Rs 3.6 lakh in five years in your account.”

The Congress chief claimed that a few months after the 2014 Lok Sabha elections, people realised they had been fooled by BJP’s “acche din aayenge [good days will come]” slogan. After a couple of years, they started chanting “chowkidar chor hai [the watchman is a thief]”, he claimed.

Gandhi claimed that following demonetisation and the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax, the people of Bihar stopped buying items such as t-shirts, shoes, caps and soaps because there was no money in their pockets. “As soon as you stopped buying, factories stopped producing these items,” he added. “Factory owners immediately told their workers to stop work and go back home.”

The Congress chief said that the NYAY scheme will help people buy goods, which in turn will provide employment to hundreds of thousands of youth. He claimed that the scheme was the Congress’ surgical strike on poverty, which would eliminate poverty once and for all.

Gandhi said that while Congress governments in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh provided loan waivers, the Bihar government under Nitish Kumar and the BJP did not do so.

Earlier in the day, Gandhi’s flight from Delhi to Patna encountered engine trouble. The Directorate General of Civil Aviation has begun an inquiry into the incident. The Congress chief tweeted that his rallies in Bihar, Odisha and Maharashtra will run late.

The Lok Sabha elections are being held in seven phases from April 11 to May 19. The results will be announced on May 23.