The Congress manifesto for the 2014 Lok Sabha polls, to be released by party chief Sonia Gandhi on March 21, is likely to promise right to health and employment, making it apparent that the party will be sticking to its welfarist approach and not leave it to market forces to generate economic growth to bring about a change.
The Congress manifesto would have a distinct imprint of Rahul Gandhi, shedding its two decades of espousal of Manmohanomics, and put emphasis on the manufacturing sector for job creation.
Rahul has already unveiled a right-based agenda and called for more focus on manufacturing sector in his campaigns. He has been holding interaction sessions with various stakeholders to bounce his ideas, before putting them on the party manifesto.
Sources said a meeting of the manifesto committee, headed by A K Antony, would be held on March 16 to approve the final draft. “Our manifesto is nearing finality. We will release it on March 21,” a senior Union Minister, who’s part of the manifesto committee, said on Friday.
P Chidambaram, Sushilkumar Shinde, Anand Sharma, Jairam Ramesh, Salman Khurshid, Digvijay Singh, Ajit Jogi, Sandip Dikshit, Renuka Choudhury, P L Punia and Mohan Gopal are other members of the committee.
Ramesh and Gopal are widely known to be the main compilers of the manifesto which, sources said, was being developed through an “exhaustive exercise”.
The manifesto is expected to promise at least six women police stations in every district to enhance women security. It also likely to back reservation for women in police force and judiciary, 20 per cent in each category, to ensure speedy justice in cases of crimes against women.
There would also be recommendations for the lower rungs of middle class and the BPL category. All in all, the manifesto would cover the groups identified by Rahul.