NEW DELHI: The Congress is studying international ‘happiness index’ models in Sweden and Norway before it can promise a tailored version of it in the party’s poll manifesto for Gujarat. The manifesto will be announced after the Election Commission declares the polling schedule.
The Congress’ has obtained feedback that people are unhappy under the BJP’s 19 year-rule and a promise to address the issue would find favour with them. “We believe that the road to development is via happiness. Equal importance is attached to economic and non-economic aspects. We believe in keeping people’s well-being at the centre of the government’s efforts and it is exactly that we will implement in our functioning,” said a senior Congress leader.
Norway is the happiest country according to The World Happiness Report 2017, while India is ranked 122.
“Erecting skyscrapers, laying well-planned roads and establishing greater connectivity are achievable. But a government can still fail at making its people genuinely happy and content,” said a party strategist, adding that hence, the ‘happiness index’ could effectively counter the development plank the BJP will highlight.
Sources said the party is also perusing some IIM Ahmedabad reports on measuring the Gross National Happiness and going through the portal actionforhappiness.org before drafting the poll manifesto.
State unit leaders said their interactions with traders have revealed that they are stressed due to the GST. Congress leaders said social welfare parameters in Gujarat need improvement though the state is thought to be a developed one.