India's Congress party manifesto pledges 'growth for all'

Congress party leader Rahul Gandhi  during an election rally in Baran, in Rajasthan, Tuesday, Sept. 17, 2013 Rahul Gandhi's Congress party is up against it in the polls after two terms in power

Related Stories

India's governing Congress party has promised "inclusive growth" if it returns to power in general elections.

Launching its election manifesto, it promises a raft of welfare schemes, including a right to healthcare for all and pensions for the aged and disabled.

Polling to elect a new parliament begins on 7 April and runs to 12 May. Votes will be counted on 16 May.

With some 814 million eligible voters, India's election will be the largest the world has seen.

PM Manmohan Singh said the manifesto "spelt out a vision for inclusive growth".

"Growth has many dimensions and I'm glad that the manifesto spells out our strategy for accelerated growth," he said.

Mr Singh said India needed more investment, jobs and increased spending in agriculture, education and health.

Congress leader Sonia Gandhi said the party had prepared the manifesto after "taking suggestions from people across the country".

She said the elections were "not about good economic and social programmes - for the Congress it is a fight to keep the secular and constitutional fabric of India intact".

The party has also adopted a new slogan Your Voice, Our Pledge for the elections.

They will be held in nine phases over April and May and pit the governing Congress party-led coalition against the opposition BJP and its allies.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh is stepping down and Congress is being led by Rahul Gandhi, the latest member of India's influential Nehru-Gandhi dynasty.

The BJP is being led by the charismatic and controversial Hindu nationalist leader, Narendra Modi.

Mr Modi, who is ahead in all the pre-poll surveys, is the leader of Gujarat state which witnessed one of India's worst anti-Muslim riots in 2002.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More India stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?


  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?


  • A man in a biohazard suit decontaminates a handrail at a Dallas train station.Ebola and race

    Is prejudice fuelling outbreak hysteria in the US?


  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.