Indian opposition leader Gandhi pledges ‘minimum income’ for poor

Indian opposition leader Rahul Gandhi said on Monday that his party will introduce a “minimum income guarantee” for the poor if it returns to power in the elections this year. The vote, due by May, will see the scion of the Gandhi-Nehru dynasty and the head of the opposition Congress party seek to unseat Narendra Modi as prime minister in the country of 1.25 billion people still ravaged by poverty. “We cannot build a new India while millions of our brothers & sisters suffer the scourge of poverty,” Gandhi said on Twitter. “If voted to power in 2019, the Congress is committed to a Minimum Income Guarantee for every poor person, to help eradicate poverty & hunger. This is our vision & our promise,” he said. Indian media reported the promise would be along the lines of universal basic income (UBI), a concept attracting growing interest around the world. UBI, seen as a way to reduce inequality, involves people being given a flat lump sum by the state instead of subsidies and social security payments.