The Election Commission has been issued with a notice to Niti Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar for his remarks criticized the Congress’ election promised to minimum support of income for poor. It claims that his comments have violated the Election Code, which prohibits officials to support the government, asked for Mr. Kumar reply within 2-days time.
On Monday, Mr. Kumar in a series of Twitter posts had questioned the Congress’ Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY) announced by Congress National Chief Rahul Gandhi on the same day.
“Congress party promised Garibi Hatao in 1971, OROP in 2008, Food Security in 2013 to win elections, but couldn’t fulfill any of those. The same unfortunate fate awaits the populist and opportunistic promise of Minimum Income Guarantee (sic),” tweeted Mr. Kumar.
In another tweet, Rajiv Kumar wrote: “The cost of the Minimum Income Guarantee scheme at 2% of GDP and 13% of the budget will ensure that the real needs of people remain unsatisfied.”
While announcing the scheme, Mr. Gandhi said that any family earning monthly less than Rs. 12,000 will receive up to Rs. 6000 in its bank account under the NYAY scheme, if Congress is voted to power.
Mr. Gandhi further called the proposal a “final assault on poverty”, claims it would surely benefit 25 crore people.
During an interview on Monday, Mr. Kumar had said that Congress’ proposed scheme will lead to “a huge fiscal adverse impact on the economy”.
“I wish he (Rahul Gandhi) hadn’t done this. It will lead to our credit rating agencies downgrade our ratings to young status and it will make the cost of borrowing much higher. The Kisan scheme (of the Modi government) is entirely different. That scheme is for very well identified small and marginal farmers,” added the NITI Aayog official.
Mr. Kumar further said, “This is the same as in 2008 when their (Congress Government) finance minister let the fiscal deficit increased from 2 and a half percent in one stroke.”
PM Modi is the chairperson of the NITI Aayog, which is the government’s think tank.
Meanwhile, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley has described the party’s poll promise as a “bluff announcement”. Mr. Jaitley continued, “20% of the country’s poorest families were already getting Rs. 1.06 lakh each under various schemes promoted by the Narendra Modi government.” Rs. 72000 a year scheme per family has been proposed by Congress pales in comparison to this, claims the Finance Minister.