The much vocal and “awaited” manifesto for the Grand Old Party had come out recently (Find it here).
With some sense of current affairs and common sense (which the Drafting Commission seemed to lack in parts) one can easily observe huge disparities and logical errors.
While the AFSPA dilution and Sedetion removal received much attention, many fallacies didn’t the deserved attention.
INC On Judiciary
For starters, Congress had some specific plans for the Judiciary. Little did they think outside some fake poll promises.
Learned, independent and upright judges are the core of the judiciary. Congress promises to establish a National Judicial Council (NJC) that will be responsible for selection of judges for appointment to the High Courts and the Supreme Court. The NJC will be comprised of judges, jurists and parliamentarians and will be serviced by a secretariat. Names of suitable candidates will be placed in the public domain and the reasons for selection will be published to ensure that the entire process is transparent. Once the new system is in place, we will endeavour to fill every vacancy in the High Courts or Supreme Court within 2 months.
They had promptly forgotten that a similar step had been taken in 2014 where a National Judicial Appointments Commission (NJAC) and was held unconstitutional. The SC reasoned that the NJAC had the interference of the Government and Parliament which is against the principles of the working of the judiciary. The so called “NJC” is just a similar gimmick, it has a precedent to be scrapped easily.
Next, the Manifesto says further,
Congress promises to fix the retirement age of judges of High Courts and the Supreme Court at
This is clearly promising what is already existing- Congress seems to be devoid of Civics 101. The retirement age is already 65 for HC and SC judges. More info here.
INC on “Corruption”
INC seemingly promised some steps as follows:
Congress will cause to be investigated several deals entered into by the BJP Government in the last 5 years and, in particular, the Rafale deal.
This is clearly ignoring and disrespecting the Supreme Court’s decision, or even the CAG report on the Rafale Deal!
INC on Press
Congress may have surprised Lutyens Delhi by the following promises:
Congress will amend the Press Council of India Act to empower the Council to deal with the menace of fake news and paid news.
Along with promising a “Code of Conduct” dealing with controlling of press during specific situations. While sometimes necessary, Press Censorship during the Dhulagar incident was just a way to cover up the government’s wrongdoings. More info here.
This attempt at press censorship is a bad and villanous step towards suspension of free speech and press.
INC on Economics
While promising a fiscally dangerous scheme for income without work, the manifesto ironically mentions about the fiscal targets of theirs.
Congress promises to achieve the target of 3 per cent of GDP by 2020-21 and remain under that limit. The revenue deficit will be contained, as far as possible, under 1 per cent of GDP.
The NYAY Scheme is believed to constitute 13% of the annual Union budget and many economists project that if implemented, the fiscal deficit would skyrocket, in spite of Congress’s claims.
On the RBI, Congress promises:
…to reverse the unwarranted and illegal interference by the BJP government into the functioning of the RBI.
Ironically, they also make sure that:
…the Governor shall periodically render an account to a committee of Parliament promises that the government will work closely with the RBI to ensure that fiscal policy and monetary policy are aligned to achieve the common goal of growth with price stability.
Which is clearly the opposite of what they claim a few sentences back: They want to maintain RBI’s autonomy while “working closely” or in other words, interfering in its policy making.
Also, the RBI uses it’s own Press Releases to render accounts and is not bound under law to render the same to any Parliamentary Committee.