21 October, 2020

The Big Name Game

How the Nehru-Gandhi brand is being extended ad nauseam

Illustration by Sorit
The Big Name Game

In yet another desperate measure to lift its sagging fortunes, the Congress-led UPA-II has decided to name the national food security scheme—the nation’s biggest welfare programme launched by the government since independence—as Indiramma Anna Yojana, ensuring that beneficiaries will see this food-for-votes programme as a largesse from the Congress’s first family. Reports suggest the subsidised foodgrains will be packed in 5 kg bags with the Indiramma stamp, proclaiming the Nehru-Gandhi brand.

Since humongous sums will be sunk in this scheme—Rs 6 lakh-crore in three years—the Congress hopes this will fetch rich dividends in the assembly elections ahead and in the 2014 general elections. But when the government pushed the bill through Parliament, it hid the economic and political aspects of the scheme in order to win the support of parties, including those in opposition.

If it comes through, the Indiramma Anna Yojana will be the biggest votebank heist. It surpasses all previous attempts by the party to raid this bank, although it...



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