NITI Aayog vice-chairman Rajiv Kumar has reportedly issued a clarification to the Election Commission over his remarks against Congress’ ambitious NYAY scheme for India’s poorest. According to news agency ANI, Kumar has said that he made the comments against the minimum income scheme as an ‘economist’ and not as a bureaucrat in the current administration. Kumar had drawn flak over his tweet against Congress’ minimum income promise. The Election Commission has reportedly slapped a notice and demanded an explanation from Kumar over his social media posts. On March 25, the day Congress chief Rahul Gandhi announced the scheme, Kumar took to Twitter and slammed the Grand Old Party of India for making false promises to win elections. “True to its past record of promising the moon to win elections, Congress President announces a scheme that will burst fiscal discipline, create strong incentives against work and which will never be implemented,” Kumar said in a series of tweets. Kumar has not deleted the tweet.
True to its past record of promising the moon to win elections, Congress President announces a scheme that will burst fiscal discipline, create strong incentives against work and which will never be implemented. (1/2)#MinimumIncomeGuarantee @PMOIndia @FinMinIndia— Rajiv Kumar 🇮🇳 (@RajivKumar1) March 25, 2019
Complete with the Tricolour and a blue tick, Kumar’s Twitter bio reads, ‘Vice Chairman @NITIAayog | Founder @PahleIndia | Senior Fellow @CPR_India | Economist, Author, Columnist who loves travel, sufi music and sahaja yoga meditation’. And this is what has drawn the Election Commission’s ire that how can a current member of an official agency talk like a politician.
According to PTI, sources in the poll panel said, since Kumar is part of "bureaucratic executive", such remarks may be violative of the model code. "It is not a case of one politician attacking the other or one party attacking the other," said a functionary.
He had also tweeted, saying "The proposed income guarantee scheme fails the economics test, fiscal discipline test and execution test".
In another tweet, Kumar had claimed that, "true to its past record of promising the moon to win elections, Congress President announces a scheme that will bust fiscal discipline, create strong incentives against work and which will never be implemented." Kumar is reported to made similar remarks in an interview also.
At a press conference in New Delhi recently, Rahul Gandhi had announced that 20 per cent families belonging to the poorest category will be given Rs 72,000 each annually as minimum income if Congress comes to power.
“Congress party promises that India's 20%,most poor families will get yearly 72,000 rupees in their bank accounts under minimum basic income guarantee scheme. 5 crore families and 25 crore people will directly benefit from this scheme. All calculations have been done. There is no such scheme anywhere else in the world,” Gandhi said during a party press conference in Delhi.This was sort of a formal announcement of party’s mega poll promise. Earlier, in a rally in Dehradun, Gandhi had spoken extensively about his plan to provide dignity to the poor of the country. The announcement comes at a time when Narendra Modi government launched ambitious ‘PM-KISAN scheme’ during its last Budget. The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Samman Nidhi Yojana (PM-KISAN) was announced in the interim Budget 2019-20 on February 1, 2019. Under the Scheme, Rs 6,000 will be given per year to small and marginal farmer families having combined land holding/ownership of up to 2 hectares. The amount will be given in three installments of Rs 2000 each.