Minimum basic income scheme among suggestions received by BJP manifesto draft panel

BENGALURU: A minimum basic income scheme aimed at addressing the issue of poverty is among the ideas received by the BJP manifesto draft committee for the upcoming Lok Sabha elections, party MP Rajeev Chandrasekhar said Thursday.

“Lots of participative and unprecedented grassroots suggestions are pouring in during our manifesto committee meetings with various groups of people,” Chandrasekhar, also a member of the BJP manifesto draft committee, told PTI here.

“Implementation of minimum basic income is also one of the suggestions which the party has received,” he said.

Asked if the BJP was seriously considering including the minimum basic income scheme in its manifesto, Chandrasekhar said the committee will take the final decision.

“… but various next stage reforms are under consideration and being discussed…,” he added.

Congress president Rahul Gandhi has already promised his party would implement a minimum basic income scheme for poor if his party is voted to power in the Lok Sabha elections beginning April 11.

The minimum income guarantee is a spin-off of the concept of Universal Basic Income (UBI). It was proposed by the then chief economic adviser Arvind Subramanian in the Economic Survey 2016-17 to provide minimum cash to the poor people to help them meet their basic needs.

The core idea of the UBI, which proposes payment of a fixed income by the government to every adult, was to eliminate poverty or at least ensure survival of individuals.

Chandrasekhar said he was impressed with so many other suggestions coming in as part of ‘Bharat Ke Mann Ki Baat’ — the BJP’s public outreach campaign.

“I have done many programmes. Many youth and government servants and also children are coming up with suggestions,” he said.

“All these suggestions are being discussed under Rajnath Singhji, who is the chairman of the manifesto committee,” he added.

Some of these suggestions might go into the manifesto, the BJP MP said.

Asked if Priyanka Gandhi Vadra’s entry into politics would affect the BJP’s fortunes in Uttar Pradesh, Chandrasekhar replied in the negative.

He claimed that the Congress is not in sync with expectations of the people.

People, especially youngsters, expect their leaders to earn their positions by hard work and do not favour those coming through dynastic politics, he said.

“What are the achievements of Rahul Gandhi and Priyanka Gandhi? Nothing, except the name Gandhi. They are enjoying high party offices,” Chandrasekhar said.

“People were impressed by a person like Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who climbed the ladder of success,” he said. PTI

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