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Sonia Gandhi birthday special: From Right to Education to Right to Information know key social welfare measures under her watch as UPA boss

Under Sonia Gandhi’s stewardship, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the 2004 General Elections. Here are key social welfare measures under her tenure as UPA boss.




Today is Congress President Sonia Gandhi’s 75th birthday. Gandhi, Congress’s longest-serving president, has experienced many highs and lows throughout her political career.

Gandhi was elected president of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) in 1998 and a Member of Parliament from the Amethi parliamentary seat in 1999. She went on to become the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha after that.

Her journey from a young grieving widow to the centre-stage of India’s politics, speaks volumes of her leadership skill in a country with which she was not familiar but became a naturalized citizen of. Her Italian origin continues to be a bugbear for her leadership.

Under her stewardship, the Congress emerged as the single largest party in the 2004 General Elections and formed the government in the Centre with a rainbow coalition also comprising of the Left parties. Gandhi has led the Congress for more than 20 years. In 2017, she resigned from the post of UPA chairperson and her son Rahul Gandhi was named party president. However, Sonia Gandhi was back in the saddle when Rahul Gandhi decided to step down following the party’s defeat in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls.

Key social welfare measures under Sonia Gandhi’s tenure as UPA boss:

Right to Information Act 2005 (RTI): Makes information accessible to citizens. Right to Information Act 2005 mandates timely response to citizen requests for government information.

Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act 2005 (MNREGA, now MGNREGA): MGNREGA is also known as the UPA’s signature programme. Under this act, every rural family that demands employment, within 15 days of their demand and within 5 km of where they live. And instead of a dole, MGNREGA pledges the dignity of work that would also build the rural infrastructure. Despite mocking it, the NDA government has continued with it by increasing its grants as a useful tool.

Read Also: Sonia Gandhi turns 75 today, here are some throwback pictures of longest serving Congress president

Right to Education Act 2009 (RTE): This Act provides for free and compulsory education for children aged between 6-14 years in India under Article 21 (A) of the Constitution of India. Under this, no school can deny admission to a child in the age bracket of 6-14.

National Food Security Act 2013 (RTF): When the Congress returned to power in 2009 on the basis of the government’s pro-poor policies. The UPA chairperson spelt out her priorities ‘Food for All.’ The law was passed in 2013, became the largest social security programme backed by law in the world.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi reveals plan for ambitious 2047 Viksit Bharat project, says work for the project has been ongoing for last 2 years

The Prime Minister said that he does not mean to scare or suppress anyone, but rather has plans to make India a developed nation by 2047.



A day after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) released its election manifesto, which aims at building a Viksit Bharat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in an interview with the media, outlined his vision for India’s development by 2047. He also addressed concerns raised by the opposition parties, who suggest that the BJP might seek to amend the Constitution if re-elected in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi gave his assurance to the people that they do not need to fear when he said that he has big plans for the country in his election speeches. Explaining statement, the Prime Minister said that he does not mean to scare or suppress anyone, but rather has plans to make India a developed nation by 2047.

Speaking to the media, PM Modi said, when he says that he has big plans, no one should be scared. He said he does not take decisions to scare or run-over anyone, he takes decisions for the wholesome development of the country. He added the government always says they have done everything.  He said he did not believe that he had done everything. He added he had tried to do everything in the right direction, yet there is so much he needed to do, because he saw that his country has so many needs.

The Prime minister asked how did he fulfill the dreams of every family? He said this is the reason why he said this has been a trailer. PM Modi said he had been working on the ambitious 2047 Viksit Bharat project for the past two years. And for that, he asked for opinions and suggestions from people across India.  He said he had taken suggestions from more than 15 lakh people on how they want to see India in the coming 25 years.

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Kangana Ranaut meets Dalai Lama in Dharamshala shares pictures on social media ahead of Lok Sabha elections, post goes viral

The Bollywood actor met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala and said it as one of the most memorable moments of her life.



The Bollywood actor and BJP candidate for the Mandi Lok Sabha seat met Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama in Himachal Pradesh’s Dharamshala on Monday. She said it as one of the most memorable moments of her life. Kangana Ranaut also shared pictures on social media.

The Lok Sabha elections in Himachal Pradesh are scheduled for June 1, marking the seventh phase of elections to elect four members of the 18th Lok Sabha. As the voting day is still over a month away, candidates contesting in the 4 constituencies are actively participating in various campaign activities. Among them, the BJP’s star candidate Kangana Ranaut, who is contesting from Mandi against Congress’s Vikramaditya Singh, is leaving no stone unturned to win the votes of the people.

Kangana Ranaut also shared what Dalai Lama told her during the meeting. She said, his Holiness ji said that he enjoys being in Himachal Pradesh and absolutely loves Bharat. She said this is such a privilege and such an honour. After her meeting with the spiritual leader, the actor told the media that it was divine. She said it was an experience which she will cherish all her life. She thought it is exceptional to be in the presence of such a being who has sheer divinity around him. She said it was very emotional for her and ex-CM Jairam Thakur. She added she will cherish this experience all her life.

Earlier, Kangana Ranaut slammed Himachal Pradesh minister Vikramaditya Singh for calling her the queen of controversies while she was addressing a poll rally in Mandi. She said, Yeh tumhare baap-dada ki riyasat nahin hai, ke tum mujhe dara, dhamka ke vapis bhej doge. She further added this is the new Bharat of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, where a small, poor boy who used to sell tea is the biggest hero and pradhan sevak of the people.

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Election Commission records highest inducement seizure of Rs 4,650 crore ahead of Lok Sabha election

The Election Commission of India records highest inducement seizure of Rs 4,650 in 75-years of history.



The Election Commission of India (ECI) announced on Monday that the upcoming Lok Sabha elections are expected to witness the highest ever seizures of inducements.

According to a notification from the poll board, enforcement agencies had already seized a record Rs 4,650 crore before the first round of polling, which is yet to start. This was a significant increase over the Rs 3,475 crores seized during the entire Lok Sabha election in 2019.

As part of a level playing field, the Election Commission said that the enhanced seizures reflect ECI’s unwavering commitment to monitor inducements and curb electoral malpractices, particularly in favour of smaller and less resourceful parties.

Significantly, narcotics and drugs, which are the Commission’s main focus, account for 45% of the seizures. The poll body continued, the seizures have been made possible by thorough planning, increased cooperation and coordinated deterrent action by agencies, proactive public participation, and optimal use of technology.

The commission also made statistics on the distribution of inducements that were seized available for public consumption by state. With a seizure of over Rs 778 crore, Rajasthan topped the list. Gujarat came in second with Rs 605 crore, and Maharashtra came in third with roughly Rs 431 crore.

When announcing the polls last month, Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) Rajiv Kumar highlighted money power as one of the 4M challenges, along with money, muscle, misinformation, and Model Code of Conduct violations.

Use of black money, over and above political financing and accurate disclosure thereof, may disturb the level playing field in favor of a more resourceful party or candidate in specific geographies, the panel stated in its statement released on Monday.

The poll authority claims that the seizures are an essential part of the ECI’s resolve to hold fair elections for the Lok Sabha that are free from electoral malpractices and inducements.

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