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Congress includes ‘Special Status to AP’ in manifesto

The Indian National Congress Party’s manifesto which elaborates on bringing back many of UPA’s schemes and policies. The manifesto includes 52 points which is divided into several sections. Most importantly, the manifesto focuses on Congress President Rahul Gandhi’s “unemployment allowance” and “Good governance through independent and accountable institutions.” 
 
Interestingly, “the Good Governance” chapter mentions details about “Federalism and Centre-State Relations” as point no. 27 in the manifesto. It says: “A basic feature of the Constitution of India is the principle of federalism. Congress acknowledges that, over the last 5 years, this principle has been eroded to the detriment of the States. Congress believes that a large country like India cannot be administered by the Central Government alone. In fact, in most matters concerning the daily lives of the people, it is the State Government that is close to the people and, in some matters, it is the Local Government (Municipality or Panchayat) that is even closer to the people.”
 
The Congress manifesto brings good news to the people of Andhra Pradesh by mentioning “Congress will give Special Category status to Andhra Pradesh as promised by Dr. Manmohan Singh on 20 February 2014 in the Rajya Sabha.” Following its promise and the BJP’s in the Parliament, Andhra Pradesh is still fighting for Special Category Status with the NDA which has rejected the possibility of granting it for the state. 
 
Meanwhile the Congress manifesto also reveals that it will “revive the Backward Regions Grant Fund and the Integrated Action Plan that were implemented under UPA and achieved significant results.” For North East State, the party has said that it will: “a. Restore Special Category status to the North Eastern States; b. Withdraw the infamous Citizenship Amendment Bill, which caused widespread resentment; c. Enhance financial assistance to the Autonomous District Councils in acknowledgement of their importance to the North Eastern States.”
 
Among other points, the Congress said it will scrap the opaque Electoral Bond Scheme that was designed to favour the ruling party and set up a National Election Fund to which any person may make a contribution; promise that 50% of EVMs will be matched against VVPATs. About taxation, the “Congress promises to enact the Direct Taxes Code in the first year of  government; review and replace the current GST laws with the GST 2.0 regime based on a single, moderate, standard rate of tax; abolish the e-way bill,” it added.
 

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