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2-min read

'Garibi Mitao', Not 'Garibi Hatao', is Aim of Congress NYAY Scheme, Says Randeep Surjewala

'Garibi hatao' (Remove Poverty) was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's slogan in the 1971 polls and was later also used by her son Rajiv Gandhi.

News18.com

Updated:April 1, 2019, 8:36 AM IST
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'Garibi Mitao', Not 'Garibi Hatao', is Aim of Congress NYAY Scheme, Says Randeep Surjewala
'Garibi hatao' (Remove Poverty) was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's slogan in the 1971 polls and was later also used by her son Rajiv Gandhi.
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New Delhi: Asserting that the Congress will touch its 2009 tally of 209 seats or cross it, Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala described the Congress's 'NYAY scheme' as aimed towards 'garibi mitao' and not 'garibi hatao'.

Surjewala was speaking at News18's Agenda India Summit, wherein key players in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections set out their agenda for the world's largest democratic exercise.

'Garibi hatao' (Remove Poverty) was former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi's slogan in the 1971 polls and was later also used by her son Rajiv Gandhi. The slogan and the associated poverty alleviation programs had allowed Indira to a mammoth 352 seat victory in the parliamentary elections.

Speaking about the NYAY scheme, Surjewala said, "This is not a ‘garibi hatao’ scheme. This is the ‘garibi mitato’ scheme. After five years of Congress, there will no garibi."

Arguing that the media had a role to play in the political narrative moving away from issues to "mud-slinging", the Congress leader said, "Has politics become such that it is no longer done issues? A statement by a person is what decides elections? Shouldn't politics be about issues, jobs, poverty, MSME, industries? Or should it be on allegations against each other?"

This, Congress leaders admitted, was the challenge ahead of the party in the 2019 polls.

"Earlier speakers spoke of hiding behind the valour, sacrifice of the army and conducting politics. The question is, who is doing this. This was a question directly asked of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi," said Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala.

The Prime Minister, in his rallies, has said that the opposition's questioning of the government gives the 'enemy' arsenal to weaken the nation. Surjewala countered and said: "Shouldn't the questions of an intelligence failure be asked." He added that the Modi was protesting in Delhi during the Mumbai attacks and attacking the then prime minister Manmohan Singh.

The Congress spokesperson also maintained that Rahul Gandhi's decision to contest election from Wayanad and Amethi didn't stem from a fear of loss at the hands of BJP.'s Amethi candidate Smriti Irani. He said, "In southern India, people have begun to feel that there is a wedge between them, their culture, their way of life. This wedge has been created by Narendra Modi."

Wayanad, he said, was at the trifecta of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka and accounted for "the poorest and tribals". "This is to communicate the message that the syncretic nature of India is intact," he said.

| Edited by: Sana Fazili
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