Indian National Congress – Manifesto and Economic Policy
Indian National Congress 2009 Manifesto
Congress vs BJP: Secular, Liberal Nationalism vs Narrow Communalism
The Indian National Congress has always been in the forefront of the battle against those forces that seek
to divide and fragment our society.
The Indian National Congress has always been the bulwark against the four “isms” that threaten to tear
our country apart — commnalism of all kinds, linguistic chauvinism, regional parochialism and casteism.
At the national level, the BJP has sought to position itself as the main political rival of the
Indian National Congress.
The Indian National Congress rejects this presumptuous posturing since the BJP is simply not present in
large parts of our country.
Even so, the contest between the Indian National Congress and the BJP is not just a fight between two
political parties. It is, in essence, a clash between two competing visions of Indian nationalism, between
two competing visions of what India should be.
The Indian National Congress’s secular and liberal nationalism has an equal place for each and every
Indian. It is an inclusive vision. The BJP’s narrow and communal nationalism denies equality and equal
rights to large sections of our people. It is an exclusionary doctrine.
The Indian National Congress’s secular and liberal nationalism is founded on a celebration of India’s
many diversities. The BJP’s narrow and communal nationalism rejects many of these diversities and seeks
to impose an artificial uniformity on our people.
The Indian National Congress practices the politics of consensus and cooperation The BJP practices the
politics of divisiveness and discord. Instinctively, the Indian National Congress unites, while the BJP
Along the lines of NREGA, we will enact a National Food Security Act
The Indian National Congress pledges to enact a Right to Food law that guarantees access to sufficient
food for all people, particularly the most vulnerable sections of society. The Indian National Congress
pledges that every family living below the poverty line either in rural or urban areas will be entitled, by
law, to 25 kgs of rice or wheat per month at Rs 3 per kg. Subsidised community kitchens will be set up in
all cities for homeless people and migrants with the support of the Central government.
• We will guarantee health security for all
The National Rural Health Mission has already begun to make a noticeable impact and will be implemented
with an even greater sense of urgency. The Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojana (RSBY) introduced by the
Congress-led UPA Government offers health insurance for poor families. Expenditure on health is a
major cause of indebtedness, particularly in rural areas. The Indian National Congress pledges that every
family living below the poverty line will be covered by the RSBY over the next three years. Every district
headquarters hospital will be upgraded to provide quality heath facilities to all.