Sriganganaga: Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Tuesday said his party consulted "big economists" including former RBI governor Rahuram Rajan before it came up with the idea of minimum guaranteed income to the poorest 20 per cent households in the country.
Addressing a meeting of his party workers here, Gandhi said Prime Minister Narendra Modi promised to transfer Rs 15 lakh to every bank account.
"We thought it was a good idea...Rs 15 lakh in bank accounts. But the promise was not fulfilled by Modi. We started our work six months back to make such a thing reality," he said.
He went on to say that his party consulted "all big economists, without telling anyone, without giving any speeches".
"We were engaged in this work for six months. Take the list of all big economists of the world, we consulted them...Raghuram Rajan...one by one," he said. "First thing, we we came to know was that there should be a minimum income line. We calculated and the result was that the minimum income line should be 12,000 per month," he said. Gandhi said his party will fulfil the promise.
Rahul Gandhi also attacked the ruling party stating that "surgical strike" against poverty will be carried out through minimum income guarantee "nyuntam aay yojana (NYAY)" promised by him if his party is voted to power at the Centre.
"In the 21st century, India will define a 'minimum income line' and no one should live below this line. With this intention, we came up with NYAY. It will be a 'surgical strike' against poverty in the country. If the Narendra Modi government can give money to the rich, we can do it for the poor. 20 per cent of the poorest families of the country will be entitled to up to Rs 72,000 per year," he said at a rally here.
Accusing BJP of adopting an anti-poor approach, Gandhi said that the ruling party at the Centre wanted to "destroy the poor", while Congress wants to "destroy poverty".
Earlier, taking a jibe at the BJP's 'Mein Bhi Chowkidar' campaign, Rahul Gandhi said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi did not inform the people that he would be the 'chowkidar' (watchman) not for the entire country, but for businessmen like Anil Ambani and Nirav Modi.
"He (the Prime Minister) says, 'Main Chowkidaar Hoon' (I am a watchman). He did not say whose chowkidar he is? Have you seen a chowkidar at a farmer's home? Have you seen a chowkidar at home of the unemployed youth?" he said at a public rally here.
Gandhi said that the ensuing Lok Sabha elections will be a fight between two ideologies.
"In the last five years, Narendra Modi has created two Indias. One belongs to the rich and the other is for the poor, farmers and unemployed youth. In Narendra Modi's India, only the rich can see the dreams but not the poor."
"This will be a fight between two ideologies. One is the BJP-RSS ideology that promotes hatred and division and the other is Congress, which stands for brotherhood and love," added.
Rahul Gandhi also alleged that the Modi government weakened the schemes and programmes such as MGNREGA and food security introduced by the UPA dispensation.
"Whatever was done under the MGRENGA, food security and loan waiver by the UPA government, that all were finished by Narendra Modi. Poverty and unemployment increased in his rule," he said.
Gandhi said that all those who took away public money from banks were "helped" by the NDA government, PM Modi, BJP chief Amit Shah and Union minister Arun Jaitley. All of them have looted public money, he charged.
He also targeted the government over demonetisation and GST and asked if the note ban was announced to curb black money why nobody having such asset was seen in the queue to covert the currency.
Rajasthan Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, deputy chief minister and Pradesh Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot and other senior leaders of the party were present at the rally.