Friday, April 03, 2009

Election India 2009: It's time to be pro-poor

Rahul Gandhi, the redoubtable Congressman and India's Prime-Minister-in-waiting by his birthright, said in a meeting yesterday that the Congress is pro-poor. He could have come closer to the truth if he said the congress is pro-rich.

During the past five years of UPA rule - where the Congress was the dominant party - the country's poor people have slid further down into the abyss. Today, eighty per cent of more than one billion people, earn less than a dollar a day. They have been robbed of small things they possessed - a slice of land, for example- systematically by the Government's neo-liberal policies. They have not been provided any jobs even under the the 100-day employment scheme, promised during the last election. Manmohan Singh, the PM, has never really cared about the poor(remember the suicide of farmers in Nasik? He never did anything to get them out of their abysmal poverty).

It's not that the Bharatiya Janata Party has better track record. In terms of economic policy, it pursued the same neo-liberal line dictated by the World Bank during its rule, and is tied to Us of America in an abominable way.

Interestingly, both parties are now shouting for the cause of the poor. They are vowing to provide rice to the poor at Rs 2/3 a kg. Nothing can be more ludicrous.

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