Kochi: If the United Democratic Front came to power in Kerala its first priority would be to revive the economy which is in dire straits at the moment, stated former Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Day-1 of his campaigning in the central parts of the state.
Rahul arrived here on Monday to campaign for the UDF candidates ahead of next month's Kerala Assembly Election.
He addressed election meetings in Vypeen, Fort Kochi and Tripunnithura assembly constituencies.
On the Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme
The economy of the country can only improve if money is given into the hands of the people, the Wayanad MP said apparently referring to the Minimum Income Guarantee Scheme, Nyuntam Aay Yojana (NYAY), which has been promised in the UDF's election manifesto.
But the BJP government at the centre and the CPM government in the state were only robbing people of their money. The UDF through the NYAY proposal aims to create wealth by giving money directly into the hands of people. This should not be considered as giving alms to the people, Rahul stated.
"This is part of the UDF policy to empower the people. Its an economic initiative using common sense. The money that reaches the common man will ultimately come to the market. There will be movement of goods which will spur demand in the market-leading to an increase in production. This will revive the economy besides creating job opportunities on a big scale. The UDF plans to implement this kind of economic cycle if it came to power in Kerala," the Congress leader explained.
Taking a dig at Pinarayi Vijayan he said the Chief Minister was trying to revive the economy just like starting the ignition of a car without fuel. The UDF is committed to lessen the tax burden on people and give cash in their hands.
Rahul attacked the LDF government saying that the MoU with an American company for deep-sea trawling had exposed and questioned Left's real intention. "Don't think the people of Kerala are fools," he said referring to the aborted deal with US firm EMCC.
Had the fishermen community and opposition UDF not questioned the deal with the American company what would have been the condition of fishermen? He asked.
He said for the youth of Kerala getting employment still remains a distant dream. If UDF comes to power it would take adequate steps to provide employment to the youth.
On Congress candidates
Rahul touted the candidate list of the Congress party as an imaginative and refreshing one. By fielding new faces the Congress is putting forward new ideas, new perspective and new thinking.
"The candidates' list of the Congress this time featured both youth and experience. The people of the state will witness the hidden power of the youth after the elections," he remarked.
On UDF manifesto
The UDF has come out with a people's manifesto. It will ensure minimum support price for rubber, coconut and paddy, Rahul said citing the poll document of the opposition combine, while adding "If voted to power the UDF government will construct 5 lakh houses for the homeless and landless people across the state."