Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said the minimum income guarantee, or Nyuntam Aay Yojana, scheme for the poorest families will be “tested” in Kerala if the United Democratic Front is elected to power in the Assembly elections, PTI reported.
“I have a selfish reason to test it,” Gandhi said at a party meeting organised at Manarcad in Puthuppally Assembly constituency. Accompanied by senior Congress leader Oommen Chandy, who has represented the constituency for last 50 years, Gandhi said he was confident of the success of the NYAY scheme.
The Congress had announced details of the minimum income scheme on March 25, 2019, to wrest the momentum back from the Bharatiya Janata Party just two weeks before the Lok Sabha elections began. However, the Congress suffered a major setback in the General Elections despite trying to project itself as pro-poor.
Under the NYAY scheme, Rs 72,000 per year will go straight into the bank accounts of beneficiaries through a direct benefit transfer. Gandhi told party workers on Tuesday that he wanted to “test” the scheme because if it works in Kerala, then he wanted to replicate it in all the Congress-ruled states in India.
“Kerala is going to show the rest of India how to fight poverty once and for all,” the former Congress chief said.
Addressing another meeting at Paruthumpara, Gandhi said the scheme will not be implemented as a “charity”. He added that this was the only way to uplift the Indian economy which “collapsed” due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation exercise, his “flawed” implementation of the Goods and Services Tax and the coronavirus crisis.
He exuded confidence that the Pinarayi Vijayan-led government will lose the April 6 Assembly elections. “The first thing we are going to do when we form [the] government in a number of days is going to start the Nyuntam Aay Yojana,” he added.
In its manifesto, the Congress-led UDF has promised Rs 2,000 as pension for homemakers, Rs 72,000 annually to the poor under the NYAY scheme and five lakh homes for the underprivileged.