New Delhi: Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Friday said his party, if voted to power, will scrap the NITI Aayog and replace it with a "lean" Planning Commission.
Gandhi said the Niti Aayog, set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after he assumed power in 2014, served no purpose other than making marketing presentations for the PM and "fudging data".
"If voted to power, we will scrap the NITI Aayog. We will replace it with a lean Planning Commission whose members will be renowned economists and experts with less than 100 staff," he wrote in a tweet.
The Planning Commission, set up in 1950 under the Congress government, was replaced by the Niti Aayog by the Modi dispensation. PM Modi had announced his government’s decision to do away with the Planning Commission in his maiden Independence Day speech.
The Congress is seeking to revert to the original structure of the government think-tank. The CPI(M), too, had announced in its manifesto that it would restore the commission if it forms part of the government.
Taking a dig at Rahul Gandhi's promise, union minister VK Singh questioned the effectiveness of the Planning Commission.
"Your party was in power for 60 odd years, and your family's version of Planning Commission didn't deliver much. Rather than talking about breaking down institutions or tearing up ordinances, think about what you can contribute to the country. Tough ask, eh?" the BJP leader said.
NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar, meanwhile, currently faces a notice from the Election Commission over his remarks criticising the Congress's election promise of minimum income support for the poor.
Kumar had slammed the poll promise, claiming that it would disrupt fiscal balance, and said the Congress has been promising to remove poverty since the times of Indira Gandhi.
The election body earlier this week said his comments violated the poll code which prohibits officials to support the government. Mr Kumar was to reply to the notice by Thursday, but he sought time till April 5.