WAYANAD: As the campaign for the April 6 Assembly polls draws to a close, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday gave a further push to his ‘Nyuntam Aay Yojana’ (NYAY) to reach out to the voters, promising that every poor person in the State will get Rs 6,000 every month “without fail,” if the UDF is voted to power.
“The UDF is proposing something revolutionary. Something that has never been tried in any Indian state before,” Gandhi told a UDF meeting organised at Vellamunda in Mananthavady.
Gandhi, who reached the venue after offering prayers at the ancient Lord Mahavishnu Temple in Thirunelli, said the idea of NYAY was very simple.
“The idea is that we are going to put money directly into the hands of the poorest people in Kerala.And not a small amount of money. Every poor person in Kerala is going to get Rs 6,000 a month–Rs 72,000 a year– without fail every month into his bank account,” the Congress leader, who represents Wayanad constituency in the Lok Sabha, said.
Gandhi has given an increased focus on the NYAY scheme in his poll meetings, apparently in a bid to counter the ruling Left which is relying heavily on the welfare schemes implemented by it in the last five years to win votes in the crucial polls.
In the last five years, the Pinarayi Vijayan-led LDF government has substantially increased the welfare pension for the elderly.
The welfare pension was Rs 600 when the UDF rule came to an end in 2016. It is now Rs 1,600 per month, with the left government increasing the amount in multiple phases.
The government has also ensured that the pension amount reaches the beneficiaries every month without fail.
Bringing up the NYAY idea during the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, Gandhi had described it as ground-breaking, which would mark the beginning of the final assault on poverty.
Last week, the former Congress president had said he wanted to “test” the scheme in Kerala because if it works here, he wanted to replicate it in all Congress-ruled states in the country.
Earlier in the morning, Gandhi visited Thirunelli temple in Wayanad with which he has an emotional link.
An urn containing the ashes of his father and former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi was immersed in Papanasini, a stream connected to a famous temple dedicated to Lord Mahavishnu in the picturesque village, in 1991.
“Visited Thirunelli Temple, Wayanad early morning today. The calming atmosphere of this place resonates within for a long time,” Gandhi wrote on his Facebook page after visiting the temple with AICC general secretary K C Venugopal.
He had also offered prayers at the temple last year and during his Lok Sabha election campaign in 2019.